Return P9M, PCSO board told

MANILA, Philippines—The five members of the current Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board of directors received more than P9 million in unauthorized salaries and allowances in 2011, according to an audit report for the year by the Commission on Audit (COA).

The COA in the report ordered the board members to return the amount to the government.

“We recommended that the BOD (board of directors) refund the salaries, allowances and benefits received for CY 2011 totaling P9.617 million, otherwise the same will be disallowed in audit,” the COA said.

“We also recommended the submission of supporting documents such as lists of attendance with signatures, minutes of meetings and other documents to prove that the BOD actually attended the meetings and draw proceedings,” it said.

The board was paid P5.507 million in per diems for board meetings, committee meetings and draw allowances (paid for attending lottery draws) but still collected an extra P9,617,576.25 representing salaries, transportation, educational assistance, sweepstakes and lotto draw allowances, revenue performance incentives, cost of living, hazard, rice and staple food, clothing and other benefits, the report said.

The COA said the payment of salaries, allowances and benefits totaling P9.617 million to the board members, in addition to their per diems and differential of per diems, was against Executive Order Nos. 19 and 24 dated Dec. 30, 2010, and Feb. 10, 2011, respectively.

Extended suspension

EO 19 extended the suspension of allowances, bonuses, incentives and other perks to directors of government-owned and -controlled corporations and government financial institutions, but allowed reasonable per diems, until Jan. 31, 2011.

On the other hand, EO 24 provided that board members shall not be allowed to receive salaries, allowances, benefits and other bonuses unless specifically authorized by law and approved by the President.

“In view of the effectivity of the suspension order and in the absence of approval from the Office of the President… the disbursements made therefore lacked legal basis, thus, could not be allowed in audit,” the COA said.

The PCSO board is composed of Chair Margarita Juico, Joaquin Francisco III, Betty Nantes, Ma. Aleta Tolentino and Mabel Mamba. Cynthia D. Balana

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Tags: Commission On Audit , PCSO , Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office , unauthorized allowances

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