Commission on Audit stops payment of Cebu Ports Authority allowances
(The Freeman) - August 9, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines- The Commission on Audit has ordered the Cebu Ports Authority to discontinue paying 40 percent Cost of Living Allowance and 10 percent amelioration allowances, as well as the traditional benefits of its officials and employees until its legality is decided with finality by the Supreme Court.

State auditors noted that CPA continued paying for the said benefits despite questions of its legality. In fact, it has already accumulated P265.5 million of questionable benefit payments since 1999.

COA, in its Annual Audit Report, pointed out that the payments in calendar year 2014 of the allowances which totaled P21,784,318.69, and traditional benefits of P18,393,556.63 were not in consonance with the Department of Budget and Management instruction in the approved Corporate Operating Budget on Personal Services.

 Under the DBM approved Corporate Operating Budget of the CPA for CY 2014, Personal Services only has a budget of P146, 279,000.

A footnote of said approved budget indicated that payment for allowances and incentives, despite decisions from the Regional Trial Court, shall be made only upon a Supreme Court decision affirming the lower court’s ruling.

“Regardless, payment of these allowances and benefits continued in CY 2014 which amounted P21,784,318.69 for the 40 percent COLA and 10 percent amelioration allowances, and traditional benefits of P18,393,556.63,” COA said.

 COA noted that from CY 1999 to December 2014, payment of these allowances and benefits already accumulated to P265,437,667.88.

 Audit Observation Memorandum No. 2014-010 was issued on this regard and the CPA management reportedly commented that the decision of the RTC granting these benefits have long become final and executory.

 The CPA management asserted that said allowances and incentives are being granted pursuant to the final and executory decisions of the case filed by the employees against the CPA, which decisions may no longer be reviewed or in any way modified directly or indirectly by a higher court, not even by the Supreme Court, much less by any other official, branch or department of government.  (FREEMAN)

 

ALLOWANCES ANNUAL AUDIT REPORT AUDIT OBSERVATION MEMORANDUM NO BENEFITS CEBU PORTS AUTHORITY CORPORATE OPERATING BUDGET COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT PERSONAL SERVICES REGIONAL TRIAL COURT SUPREME COURT
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