Quantcast
Latest Stories

COA: Makati gov’t still pays its employees in hard cash

By

The Makati city hall. Photo from www.makati.gov.ph

For a city that prides itself on being the country’s financial center, Makati has a government that remains in the pre-ATM age when paying the salaries of its employees.

According to a Commission on Audit (COA) report, Makati City still pays its roughly 9,000 employees by stuffing cash in envelopes every pay day.

In its 2012 annual audit report released last month, the COA noted that P35.8 million in cash (for the salaries of regular and casual employees and payroll bonuses and incentives for public school teachers) was handled by four disbursing officers at the Makati City Hall.

The COA discovered the crude handling of the payroll during a series of cash examinations in December last year.

“The huge amount of cash on hand was expected since the payroll system of the city government requires payment in cash despite the automation age. This system had more disadvantages than advantages that need to be addressed to strengthen control not only in cash management but also in the other aspects of disbursement,” the COA said.

Drawbacks

The COA cited several drawbacks to Makati’s archaic payroll system, such as high risk of loss or misapplication; disbursing officers exceed their maximum cash accountability; and loss of man-hours for employees who leave their work stations to go to City Hall to get their salaries and then go back to their posts; long lines to the teller’s booth; and the distribution of money to 4,024 regular employees and 4,794 casual employees every pay day.

The COA recommended that Makati City tighten internal control of its payroll funds “to protect government funds and minimize operating costs” such as by using the automated teller machine (ATM) payroll system.

The COA said most government offices had given up the outmoded payroll system and adopted the ATM system, resulting in cost savings in man-hours and supplies, making it more convenient for both the management and the employees, and eliminating risks of loss or misapplication of funds by cutting the cash advances held by disbursing officers.

In its reply, the city government said it “had taken note of the observation” and gave assurance that the ATM system “would be considered.”

Talking to banks

In a telephone interview with the Inquirer, Makati Public Information Officer Joey Salgado admitted that the shift to the ATM system was taking a long time.

He said the change to the ATM system had been in the works since the 1990s, but kept being deferred due to repeated changes at the top in the personnel department.

“But we have already talked to several banks. We are looking for the best offer,” Salgado said.

“[We hope the ATM system] can be applied by early next year,” Salgado said, referring to this year.

Salgado described the COA observations as “minor.”

“What is important is [City Hall employees] receive their salaries on time [and the amount is correct]. And they do,” Salgado said.

The COA also found that the Makati government did not provide insurance coverage for P1.877 billion worth of property as required by law.

The properties are the Makati Parking building (P886.355 million), Makati Department of Education building (P118.611 million), and dozens of barangay (village) halls and covered courts (P158.355 million).

“These (barangay halls and courts) were constructed several years back but no formal turnover had been made, hence their ownership is still with the city. Although they are being used and maintained by the barangays, prudence dictates that their insurance coverage should be shouldered by the city to provide financial protection in case of loss,” the COA said.

Only six of the 33 barangays in Makati have insurance.

Salgado confirmed the COA finding and said the Makati Physical Resources Office had already requested the city council to pass a resolution that would authorize Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. to sign a deed of donation for the transfer of the properties to the barangays which, according to him, should have jurisdiction over them.

“The deeds of donation are being prepared, then the barangays concerned will be in charge [of insuring] the properties,” Makati accountant Raydes Pestano said in a text message on Tuesday.

Cash advances

The COA also said Makati City Hall failed to record P156.250 million in cash advances as of December last year, nearly half of which, or P70 million, were accounted for by unbooked intelligence funds made several years ago.

The COA requires all cash advances to be liquidated at the end of every year.

It also prohibits additional disbursements to employees who have not settled or properly accounted for their previous cash advances.

All settled

Salgado said the bulk of the cash advances, covering intelligence funds, had already been submitted to the COA.

He said the current Binay administration had no unliquidated cash advances. The unliquidated cash advances reported by the COA were made by previous administrations.

Before Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. became mayor in 2010, the city was headed by his father, Jejomar Sr., who is now Vice President of the Philippines. And before that, the mayor was Binay Jr.’s mother, Elenita Binay.

Salgado said nowhere in the COA report was there mention of “any findings of irregularity or loss of money.”

All questions had been answered when the COA wrapped up its examination in April, he said.

RELATED STORIES:

‘Kotong’ gripes stall Makati drive vs smoke belching

Makati grows impatient over DPWH road repairs


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Commission On Audit (COA) , Employees , local government , Makati , pay envelopes , pre-ATM age , Salaries




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement