The Committee on Appropriations of the Provincial Board is studying the possibility of filing a motion for reconsideration to the Commission on Audit on its order to return P35.338 million in unauthorized cash bonuses paid to local government officials and employees in 2013.
Board Member Leoncio Ola, committee chair, said they passed the Resolution No.10855 based on a memorandum circular of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“We will talk with our legal counsels and see what legal remedy we can take,” Ola said.
He pointed out that the fund for the P40, 000 performance enhancement bonus for the capitol employees and officials came from the savings from personnel services.
The state auditors in its order, said the province violated a Department of Budget and Management (DBM) circular when it released performance enhancement incentives (PEI) worth P40, 000 to all officials and regular employees of the province.
The COA said the DBM only allowed across-the-board P5, 000 PEI.
In its audit report, COA said “Review and verification of the disbursement vouchers and general payrolls covering the payment of PEI for CY 2013… revealed that the said PEI was granted to 1,030 qualified officials and employees… resulting to an over-payment of P35.338 million.”
The agency said its general counsel already issued an opinion on December 18 that the maximum amount to be paid for PEI to all classes, without exception, is only P5, 000 and that any amount in excess will be a violation of DBM Budget Circular No. 2013-3 and Executive Order No. 80.
“The law and regulation set the limit of the PEI, which is not exceeding P5, 000 each employee across the board, to ensure that the amount of PEI fixed by the Sanggunian is reasonable and that the expenditure will not adversely affect the operation of the LGU. We recommended that the recipient official and employees refund the total amount of P35, 228,000 in excess of the authorized amount,” the COA added.