Despite earnest efforts of the government to weed out “ghost employees” in its various agencies, it seems that authorities could not find immediate solution to this nagging problem, an election lawyer said on Tuesday.
In one case, according to Romulo Macalintal, a judge was found collecting the salaries of his court personnel through a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) where he was not only authorized to collect treasury warrants but to endorse and negotiate them as well.
In Quezon City, Macalintal said in a statement, it was reported that P170 million was allegedly paid to ghost employees while in Taguig City (Metro Manila) P315 million was allegedly allocated for fictitious personnel.
Similar cases, he added, were filed before the Ombudsman and it appeared that the salaries intended for these ghost employees were claimed and received by other personnel through the use of SPA, which gave them the authority to receive the salaries or encash checks supposedly appropriated for the ghost employees.
To put an end to what he called nefarious act in the government, Macalintal urged Congress to enact a law that would prohibit and penalize the use of SPA in claiming or receiving salaries or allowances of another government employee, except in extreme emergency or if the concerned employee is too sick or disabled to personally receive his salaries.
“Common sense dictates that all employees who actually work hard would always want to personally receive their salaries and allowances on time. It is quite intriguing if a great number of supposed employees in a government agency would not show interest nor have time to personally receive their salaries when pay day is one of the most awaited days for an employee,” he said.
Pending the enactment of the law, Macalintal appealed to President Benigno Aquino 3rd, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno to immediately issue appropriate executive orders or directives to their respective departments or agencies prohibiting any of their employees from claiming or receiving the salaries or allowances of another government employee through the use of SPA with appropriate notices of such directives to their respective depository banks.