30 GOCCs told to return P1.6B
MANILA, Philippines–The Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered more than 30 government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), including the housing agency headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay, to return to the state treasury close to P1.6 billion in allowances, retirement pay and other fringe benefits unlawfully given to their employees.
One of those directed to refund the amount it had illegally disbursed is the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), more popularly known as the Pag-Ibig Fund, which is chaired by Binay.
In its annual financial report for 2013, the COA said HDMF should return to the national government the amount of P130.375 million which it distributed to its employees as “personnel allowances, benefits, bonuses, incentives… without legal basis.”
The housing agency was also found to have disbursed the same amount for the retirement plan of its employees “above the regular retirement pay.”
No president’s approval
“Stop the grant of additional retirement benefits without the approval of the President of the Philippines. Strictly comply with Republic Act No. 7641 (or the Retirement Pay Law) and cause the immediate refund of unauthorized retirement benefits,” the COA said in its report.
Copies of the 454-page report were submitted by COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza to President Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. last month.
The report covered the audit of the financial records of 596 GOCCs from January to December 2013.
Of the GOCCs included in the audit, the COA said the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) spent the most for the allowances, incentives and benefits of its employees, illegally distributing almost P436.2 million in fringe benefits to its employees.
Also found to have illegally disbursed funds for the same purpose were Duty Free Philippines Corp. (P141.3 million); National Housing Authority (P48.7 million); Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (P14.36 million); Development Bank of the Philippines (P11.71 million);
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (P9.92 million); National Transmission Corp. (P5.74 million); National Power Corp. (P4.70 million); and the Light Rail Transit Authority (P2.91 million).
Ten GOCCs were found to have used agency funds to pay for the health insurance of their employees who were already covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. These agencies were the Philippine Ports Authority (P42.6 million); Clark Development Corp. (P37.65 million); Philippine Deposits Insurance Corp. (P11.85 million); Clark International Airport Corp. (P9.7 million);
Philippine National Construction Corp. (P2.6 million); Cebu Port Authority (P2.2 million); DBP Data Center Inc. (P721,000); Disc Contractors Builders and General Services Inc. (P704,000); DBP Leasing Corp. (P685,000); and Traffic Control Products Corp. (P78,000).
Six state agencies were found to have paid “unauthorized consultancy fees, honoraria, representation allowance, clothing allowance, bonus and incentives, and other reimbursable expenses” to their consultants, state lawyers and regional vice presidents.
These were Development Bank of the Philippines (P30.3 million); Credit Information Corp. (P9.9 million); Veterans Federation of the Philippines (P2.82 million); Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (P300,000); Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (P120,000); and Boy Scouts of the Philippines (P85,000).
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