Abad urges Peña: Use ATM for Makati payroll to get rid of ‘ghost’ employees
MANILA, Philippines — Budget Secretary and Liberal Party stalwart Florencio “Butch” B. Abad urged Makati City’s acting mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña on Tuesday to distribute all city hall workers’ pay via automated teller machines (ATMs) to get rid of “ghost” employees.
Citing a 2012 Commission on Audit (COA) report on Makati City, Abad pointed out that while most government offices have been disbursing their employees’ salaries through ATMs under an electronic payroll system, the country’s premiere business district ironically, has kept on releasing the salaries of some workers manually, in cold cash.
Makati City is hence reputed to be the remaining local government unit in Metro Manila that has yet to finish its transition from manual pay-outs to an ATM payroll system, according to Abad, head of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Abad noted that the COA report itself stated that “ATMs lower the risk of fund misuse and result in greater convenience, transparency, and accountability.”
“We understand that three years later, Makati City still pays around half of its employees in cash instead of through ATM. While they’ve made progress since then, we urge Acting Mayor Romulo ‘Kid’ Peña Jr. to complete the transition to ATM payments,” Abad said.
“Not only are electronic payroll systems more efficient—they also help keep LGUs clear of ghost employees, since the creation of ATM accounts will require account holders to show sufficient proof of identification,” the DBM chief added.
Abad’s statement appeared to be making an indirect swipe at suspended Makati City mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” S. Binay Jr. and his father Vice President Jejomar C. Binay Sr., who both had been the city’s chief executives.
“The national government has been actively upgrading our financial management systems and pushing for the highest degree of transparency in our practices. We need local governments—especially those that manage sizeable resources like Makati—to stand with us in our drive for good governance,” according to Abad.