The COA said a Supreme Court ruling has limited per diem allowances to just P1,000 a day.
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COA orders Tetangco, 2 other BSP execs to return P582K in allowances
Elizabeth Marcelo (Philstar.com) - March 1, 2017 - 12:47pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit has directed Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco Jr. and two other high-ranking BSP officials to return P582,500 in allowances and bonuses that they received in 2010 to 2011.

In a four-page ruling dated February 16 and released to the media on Wednesday, the COA Proper composed of chairperson Michael Aguinaldo and commissioners Jose Fabia and Isabel Agito affirmed the two Notices of Disallowance issued by the COA-Corporate Government Sector in February 2012.

Aside from Tetangco, also ordered to return unauthorized bonuses and allowances were BSP deputy governors Armando Suratos and Juan De Zuñiga Jr.

The Commission Proper, however, decreased the total amount of allowances and bonuses that must be returned by the three BSP officials to P582,500 from P618,500 in the CGS decision.

Tetangco was ordered to return P155,000 worth of representation allowances and bonuses and P74,000 in per diem.

Suratos, meanwhile, was directed to return P51,112 in representation allowances and bonuses and P251,000 in per diem.

Zuñiga was told to return P18,387 in representation allowances and bonuses and P33,000 in per diem.

Based on COA records, the allowances, bonuses and per diems were given to Tetangco, Suratos and Zuñiga as ex-officio members of the Philippine International Convention Center, Incorporated (PICCI) board of directors.

The Commission Proper said that although the grant of per diem is allowed under the Corporation Code of the Philippines, such grant must be limited to P1,000 per day as declared by the Supreme Court in a previous ruling.

The COA said that of the total of P394,000 in per diem allowances given to the three BSP officials, there was a total excess of P358,000.

“However, this commission disfavors the unregulated increase in per diems granted for every attendance in meeting of each member of the BOD of PICCI,” the COA ruling read.

“Thus, although the grant of per diems finds legal basis in Section 30 of the Corporation Code of the Philippines, only the amount of P1,000 for every meeting shall be allowed pursuant to the ruling of the Supreme Court...and pursuant to the suspension of the grant of new or increased benefit under Memorandum Order No. 20 (series of 2001),” it added.

The commission dismissed the three officials' argument that Section 8 of the PICCI by-laws states that the board can fix the per diems, allowances and bonuses of its members.

“Further, the records do not show that the increases in per diems were supposed by Board Resolutions,” the COA in its ruling.

The commission further pointed out that such authority under PICCI by-laws is not absolute as the agency is still a state firm, thus, it must abide by the Corporation Code of the Philippines.

As for the representation allowances and other bonuses given to the three officials , the COA said such grant was not supported by any laws or rules, as the PICCI by-laws clearly states that only per diems must be granted to its board members.

AMANDO TETANGCO BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS COMMISSION ON AUDIT
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