Landbank clarifies GOCC allowances issue

(The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2018 - 12:00am

We wish to clarify the article “COA flags P710.59 M allowances of GOCC execs” which came out in your October 31, 2018 issue. The said news report cited COA questioning Landbank allowances of P196.25 million, which we deem erroneous and inaccurate.

First, the amount in question was P67.12 million, and not P196.25 million as reported.

Second, Landbank maintains that the COA Audit Observation on the “overpayment of P67.12 million” is not a COA disallowance but an observation, and has been the subject of discussions between Landbank and COA.

This was duly explained by Landbank to the Commission of Audit in reply to its Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) dated May 10, 2018. In the said AOM, COA cited that there was an overpayment of the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) Incentive for CY 2016 of P67.12 million or P8,550 for each Landbank employee.

COA claimed that the payment of the CNA Incentive for 2016 amounting to P196.25 million was sourced from the savings computed based on the corporate budget approved by the Landbank Board instead of the budget approved by the Department of Budget and Management which resulted to the overpayment.

Since it was an observation, COA recommended for Landbank to seek clarification from the Department of Budget and Management which acknowledged that Landbank adhered to the provisions of the DBM Circular for the grant of CNA Incentive.

Landbank maintains that there was no overpayment because it sourced the CNA Incentives from the allowable Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) allotment in 2016 – which, according to DBM, is within the approved budget for Landbank.

Furthermore, DBM clarified that GOCCs are given flexibility in the use of the MOOE budget provided that “actual expenses incurred on each object of expenditure must be equal to or less than the Board’s approval level; and actual total MOOE does not exceed the DBM-approved level.

Landbank complied with both requirements, hence there was no overpayment.

Through the years, Landbank has strictly adhered to COA rules and regulations, and continues to comply with government policies.

We hope this finds space in your newspaper to clarify the issue. Thank you and more power to you. – Catherine Rowena B. Villanuena, First Vice President, Corporate Affairs Department, Landbank

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