COA stands firm on disallowing more than P8M in PCGG employee payout
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Audit (COA) has rejected an appeal made by former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) officials on a COA ruling that disallowed the release of P8.3 million in PCGG funds for aid and grants to commission employees from 2012 to 2013.
In a decision on July 4, the COA said seven cases of payouts to PCGG employees during that period were not authorized by then President Benigno Aquino III.
The COA said the fund releases were “without legal basis”, was not covered by appropriation and “contrary to existing laws and regulations.”
The COA decision said the former PCGG officials who appealed the disallowance—former PCGG Chair Richard Amurao and former Commissioner Vicente Gengos Jr—failed to present evidence that the payouts were approved by Aquino, which was a violation of two laws, Republic Act 6758 or the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 and Presidential Decree No. 1597.
The COA also said there was no Department of Budget and Management (DBM) guideline that allowed such fund releases by the PCGG.
The DBM, in fact, prohibits “the grant of additional bonus” which is not authorized by the President.
The COA added that even casual employees were given payouts which the audit agency said was irregular.
Employees who received the payouts in good faith were allowed to keep the money but the COA said officials, who signed documents for the fund releases, would remain liable./tsb
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