COA warns on illegal allowances

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 15 2013 07:57 AM | Updated as of Feb 15 2013 04:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit (COA) warned government offices yesterday against giving excessive, unauthorized or illegal allowances to its officials and personnel.

In a circular issued last Jan. 30 which The STAR published on Thursday, COA chair Maria Grace Pulido-Tan and commissioners Juanito Espino Jr. and Heidi Mendoza reminded heads of government offices to ensure the grant of only legal allowances, incentives and other benefits.

The circular listed the allowances that can be given to government officials and personnel as provided under the salary standardization law.

These include personal economic relief, representation and transportation, extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses, productivity incentive, uniform and clothing and loyalty awards.

The grant of domestic and foreign travel allowances, costume, magna carta benefits for public health workers and science and technology personnel, special counsel allowance, hazard pay, honorarium, midterm and yearend bonuses and collective negotiation agreement incentives are also allowed under the circular.

The COA circular said the payment of other kinds of allowances should have prior approval of the Office of the President.

Tan, Espino and Mendoza said the circular also covers government-owned and controlled corporations.