Sereno‘s IT consultant given P250K a month

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Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno has been questioned for hiring an Information Technology (IT) consultant who got a whopping monthly pay of P250,000.

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Associate Justice Teresita Leornardo de Castro, during an en banc session, questioned Sereno’s hiring of Helen Perez-Macasaet, who got P9 million from her six contract services.

De Castro decried the hiring of Macasaet, saying it was not approved by the court en banc.

In some of the “Contract of Services” documents obtained by The Manila Times, Macasaet was given six contracts, earning her P9 million. Each contract was for a period of six months. The first one started on October 1, 2013, the second on May 23, 2014, the third on December 10, 2014, followed by June 23, 2015, November 23, 2015 and June 20, 2016.

Among the signatories in the contract were Eden T. Candelaria, Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer and Macasaet herself. In the contract, it states that Macasaet has her principal office at LG4-LG6 Cityland Pioneer, Pioneer St. Mandaluyong City.

She was hired to “to review the status and implementation of the court’s Enterprise Information Systems Plan (EISP) and related information communication technology (ICT) and computerization projects, and recommend updates of the EISP and related projects.”

“The Supreme Court also seeks to engage the services of the Consultant to provide technical and policy advise to the Office of the Chief Justice and the Management Information Systems Office (MISO) of the Supreme Court regarding implementation of EISP and related ICT projects,” it stated.

At first, the contract was for P600,000. However, the contract for May 23, 2014 until June 20, 2016, Macasaet’s compensation was increased to P1.5 million. She also given the power to hire her assistant.

The hiring of Macasaet was included in the impeachment complaint filed by Lorenzo Gadon against Sereno. Macasaet’s name was not mentioned in the complaint but it accused Sereno of betraying public trust “when she hired an Information Technology consultant with an excessive compensation without public bidding, in contravention of existing laws, Commission on Audit (COA) Rules, and public policy.”

The House of Representatives is expected to receive Sereno’s answer to Gadon’s complaint this week.

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