‘MWSS execs, employees still got excessive allowances in 2012’
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Officials and employees of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) continued to receive last year allowances and other benefits described by auditors as excessive, in defiance of law.

The Commission on Audit (COA) proposed that the MWSS get approval from the Office of the President for the allowances.     

“Verification of records showed that MWSS granted its officials and employees the following allowances for the period January to December 2012 despite previous audit recommendations to stop the grant,” read the COA report.  

State auditors said a review showed that the grant or excess payment of allowances has no legal basis since there was no approval or confirmation from Malacañang as required by law.

The grants of above-mentioned benefits without proper authority have been consistently brought to the attention of management, but management allowed the continuous payment of the benefits to its employees, except for COLA and amelioration allowances which were stopped in October 2012. 

State auditors said the giving of Hazard Pay to officials and employees assigned at the MWSS Compound, Old Balara is questionable since Quezon City is neither a strife-torn nor embattled area, and is not exposed to harmful elements or situations as required under Department of Budget and Management Circular No. 2005-4 dated July 13, 2005.

“Since the MWSS office does not fall under any of the areas enumerated in the above-mentioned regulations and no certification from the Secretary of National Defense was issued, therefore the payment of Hazard Pay has no legal basis,” read the COA report.

Reached by The STAR, MWSS deputy administrator Nathaniel Santos said the management is doing its best to comply with COA’s recommendations.

“We have to do it gradually, if we don’t do that, most of the employees will receive a take-home pay of less than the mandated P4,000,” he said. “Slowly we will comply.”

Santos said the MWSS is trying to look after the welfare of its personnel because many of them, due to all the benefits, have incurred debts within and outside the office.   

 

DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT CIRCULAR NO HAZARD PAY METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM MWSS NATHANIEL SANTOS OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OLD BALARA QUEZON CITY SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE
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