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LACKS LEGAL BASIS

Napolcom told: Stop paying for staff’s vitamins

MANILA, Philippines — “Stop the payment of dietary supplement allowance,” the Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered the National Police Commission (Napolcom), saying the vitamin allowance lacks legal basis.

“We recommended that management immediately stop the payment of dietary supplement allowance; and henceforth, refrain from paying any form of allowances unless legally authorized,” the audit body said.

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In its annual audit report, the COA said the Napolcom should cease its distribution of P9.09 million in dietary supplement allowance to its officials and employees, including contractual personnel.

Based on the COA report, as of end 2018, the Napolcom had spent P8.23 million for the vitamin allowance of regular officials and employees, and another P856,000 for contract service and job order personnel.

The COA said the police body has continued the grant of the allowance despite an October 2017 memo suspending it for the same legal reason.

The Napolcom said the allowance was allowed under the Preventive Health Care Program of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and its own Administrative Order No. 402.

But the audit body said Napolcom’s AO 402 refers only to a medical checkup program “consisting of procedures that are strictly diagnostic,” and did not provide details for vitamins or dietary supplement benefits.

“Funds intended for the medical checkup shall be used only for the payment of the cost of the checkup actually rendered. Thus, this benefit cannot be monetized,” the COA said, adding that the dietary and supplements allowance paid in cash is “beyond the scope” of the CSC health care program.

The Napolcom management said it gave the allowance “in good faith,” but that it will cease awarding it based on COA orders.

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TAGS: COA, Commission On Audit, Napolcom, vitamin allowance
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