Batangas defends P45-M bonus

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The P45-million year-end bonus given to Capitol employees has legal basis and that a letter of reconsideration was filed with the Commission on Audit (COA), said a Batangas provincial govern- ment spokesman.

Batangas provincial Legal Officer Atty. Joel Montealto, speaking in behalf of Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, was referring to the state auditors’ order to refund the P45.352 million worth of bonuses paid out to Batangas provincial officials and employees in 2014.

The COA said the move was a violation of COA Circular No. 2013-003, which prohibits the payment of unauthorized allowances, incentives and other benefits except those expressly provided by law.

Montealto said that aside from the Local Government Code, the other legal bases are a circular issued by the Department of Budget Management and a joint resolution passed by the House of Representatives and Senate affirming the power of local government units (LGU) to determine salaries, wages, allowances, bonus and incentives.

He added that the source of funds came from the savings of the provincial government and they saw it fit and proper to recognize the work turned in by all Capitol employees by giving them incentives to enhance their performance.

“President Aquino issued Executive Order 181 dated May 15, 2015 recognizing the authority of LGU to provide such incentives,” Montealto added.

He added that while the provincial government respects the COA regional office position, they are hopeful the agency will hear their side and grant their request.

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3 Comments

  1. HindiKamiTanga on

    Happy to read from someone with the same frame of mind as I have. This COA decision exemplifies the hypocrisy that’s deep-rooted in the Philippine government and its political system. Judging from your comment, I am sure you are well aware of what I am talking about hence, I don’t need to elaborate.

  2. The COA should revisit their position as this is clearly a performance-based incentive thinly spread to hundreds of Batangas Capitol workers. This is a noble way of showing the Provincial Executive’s appreciation for the exemplary govt service at less cost. This is in direct contrast to SSS board of directors who enriched themselves by paying themselves bonuses in millions while asking SSS members to increase their contributions.

  3. HindiKamiTanga on

    LOVED IT!! When it comes to ordinary employees, it’s just as simple as “return the bonus’, the payment being ‘IRREGULAR’ .Clearly, the low-income government employees will be adversely affected here. These bonuses came from the allocated, available funds. Bonuses, though they come only once or twice a year is a big help to ordinary employees. This amount of 45 million is even distributed to probably hundreds of government employees in Batangas. The sad fact is, we got senators who are currently in jail with EACH ONE having stolen from the government hundreds of millions of pesos and we are yet to see the return of a single ‘centimo’. REALLY! What a joke! For a change, how about ordering those currently in jail high-ranking government officials to return just half (if not whole) of those money they stole?!?!