Capitol to contest COA ruling on barangay bonus
The Cebu provincial government will fight for the Christmas bonuses of barangay workers.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said the Capitol will contest the Notice of Disallowance issued by state auditors against them for disbursing close to P47 million in Christmas bonuses to barangay workers in 2012.
The Commission on Audit (COA) notice which was issued last week sought the refund of the amount which was given to 25,074 barangay workers throughout the province.
Magpale said Capitol lawyers are studying how they will craft their response to the COA notice.
The Christmas cash gift for barangay workers which the Capitol plans to hand out this year will be taken from the provincial government’s savings and the governor’s discretionary fund, said Magpale.
The vice governor insists that while state regulations prohibit the giving of monthly honoraria to barangay workers, giving one-time cash gifts like Christmas bonuses is allowed.
“If it’s a one-time payment, especially for projects and activities, then it is allowed,” said Magpale.
According to the COA report, the Cebu provincial government gave last December P46.9 million to 14,459 barangay tanods, who received P1,500 each; 531 animal health aides, P1,500 each; 7,772 health workers, who received P2,400 each; and 769 nutrition scholars and 1,543 daycare workers with P2,400 each.
No seniors aid
Meanwhile, the vice governor disagreed with suggestions for the Capitol to do what Cebu City is doing for its senior citizens – give out P10,000 annual cash assistance.
Magpale said that giving away the same amount to at least 80,000 elderly in the province would require the Capitol to spend P800 million.
“We could build a hospital with that amount already,” said Magpale.
She said that in lieu of financial assistance, a Senior Citizens Council will be formed to help in the formulation of policies beneficial to seniors.
In the proposed 2014 Provincial Budget, P20 million has been appropriated for senior citizens and persons with disability.
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