COA denies P450,000 Iloilo solon's money claim

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2020 01:17 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Audit has denied Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda of her salary and benefits claim amounting to P450,557 for her work as Supervising Legislative Officer at the office of former senator JV Ejercito from July to December 2014.

The commission, in a decision dated Dec. 26, 2019, said her claim for initial salary should have been supported with the following documents: 

  • certified copy of duly approved appointment
  • assignment order
  • oath of office
  • certificate of assumption
  • Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth
  • approved daily time record
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue withholding certificates 
  • payroll information on new employee

“In this case, petitioner had not sufficiently established her claim for payment due to the absence of the aforecited documents,” the COA said in the resolution signed by Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose Fabia and Roland Pondoc.

Baronda’s claim was initially filed by the Office of the Senate Secretary on her behalf before the Department of Budget and Management in 2015 but was denied.

The Senate then filed the claim before the COA but the commission ruled in 2017 that she file the petition herself.

She then submitted a certification from the Senate that she has not received her salary and benefits as well as journal entry and disbursement vouchers.

Baronda’s claim for salary and other benefits amount to P418,807 while her additional grocery and transportation expenses are worth P31,750.

“As to the claims for other monetary benefits, her entitlement thereto could not be determined due to the absence of guidelines, particularly on those benefits granted by the Senate to its employees pursuant to Section 2 of the Special Provisions of the General Appropriation Act applicable to the Congress of the Philippines,” the COA ruling said.

It was stressed in the ruling that the decision was without prejudice to the congresswoman’s re-filing of the petition with the required documentation and pertinent guidelines relative to the benefits being claimed.