Despite COA’S ‘no legal basis’ report: National government officers continue to receive allowance from LGU
(The Freeman) - August 6, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The local government of Bantayan has continued the giving of honoraria to three national government officers assigned in the municipality despite last year’s observation of the Commission on Audit that it has no legal basis.

But following COA’s observation, Bantayan Mayor Ian Christopher Escario said, they got clarification from the Department of Budget and Management, which allows the giving of allowances depending on the availability of funds.

Escario said what came out in the paper was a COA observation long before they got the DBM clarification.

“Tinuod na naa ‘na siya, dugay na nga observation sa COA. Pag-ingon sa COA nga i-hold, gi-hold, wa nami mohatag og honoraria,” he explained.

Municipal Accountant Ewaniza Abello confirmed the observation of COA stated in the 2014 Annual Audit Report.

“Nakakuha mi og clarification sa DBM nga it’s allowable as long as available ang funds,” she said.

Abello said the DBM also clarified that the honoraria the municipality released in 2014 was legal.

“Na-justify na, the expense had legal basis ug regular expense,” she added.

The municipal government has been giving P5,000 per month allowance to the election registrar, municipal local government operations officer (MLGOO) and Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

Escario said it has also been the practice even before he became mayor.

“Approved na sa Sangguniang Bayan, i-execute. Karon han-ay na. Ang COA thinking di allowed, karon nakakuha man ‘ta og clarification,” he added.

COA reportedly ordered Bantayan officials to direct election officers and some town employees to return the more than P100,000 honoraria given to them “without legal basis.”

It further recommended to the town officials to strictly comply with the provisions of the laws “to avoid personal liability.”  (FREEMAN)

ABELLO ACIRC ANG ANNUAL AUDIT REPORT BANTAYAN MAYOR IAN CHRISTOPHER ESCARIO COA DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT ESCARIO MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTANT EWANIZA ABELLO PUBLIC ATTORNEY SANGGUNIANG BAYAN
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