Traffic aides not entitled to share of fines—COA
MANILA, Philippines – Traffic enforcers who go after erring motorists and untangle messy traffic jams are not entitle to a cut from the fines paid for the tickets they issue, according to the Commission on Audit.
The COA has disallowed the granting of incentives sourced from traffic fines to traffic officials and enforcers of the Metro Manila Development Authority, saying this has no legal basis.
In its 2010 report on the MMDA, the COA disallowed the incentives given to the enforcers from 2005 to 2010, which amounted to P22.514 million.
The audit agency said the commanders, district officers and Traffic Operations Center heads concerned should be made to refund the amount.
It also noted that the MMDA had not yet appealed the disallowance of the payments.
The MMDA provides incentives to traffic enforcers and enforcement units out of the money it collects from traffic fines and penalties. The amount is supposed to be a form of assistance or support to motivate the enforcers to effectively manage traffic.
In doing this, the MMDA cited the special provisions in the annual budget for issuing regulations, circulars and ordinances.
Of the amount collected, 20 percent is given to traffic enforcers, 15 percent to traffic commanders, 10 percent to local government units and 5 percent to traffic enforcement units. This was according to an ordinance approved by the Metro Manila Council in 2002.
But the COA, citing a Nov. 25, 2005 letter from the Department of Budget Management, said the latter had ruled that “the MMDA does not appear to have authority to grant the subject additional compensation/incentives/financial assistance arising from collections from fines and penalties.”
The DBM issued the letter after the MMDA sought its opinion on whether or not the Metro Manila Council could give to traffic enforcers incentives sourced from traffic fines without prior approval from the budget department.
The DBM said the MMDA charter contained no provision that authorized the use of fines, fees and charges for additional compensation or incentives. It also said the MMDA has not obtained Civil Service Commission approval of its Employee Suggestions and Incentives Award Systems.
While the Metro Manila Council could fix the compensation of MMDA personnel and officers, this does not exempt the agency from the Compensation and Position Classification Act, it added.
Furthermore, there are no DBM records that would show that it had given the MMDA authority to give financial assistance to traffic enforcement units.
The COA said it could not allow the MMDA practice to continue.
“In the absence of an authority, the granting of incentives to traffic officers and enforcers could not be allowed in audit,” the COA said.
It said it issued the notice of disallowance on Jan. 6, 2011.
“We recommend that management require the immediate refund by the concerned commanders/district officers/ TOC Heads of the incentives paid which has no legal basis,” it added.