PSC seeks help of SolGen in payroll scam

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2020 04:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Sports Commission has sought the help of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in the agency's case against one of its staff members, who is alleged to have conducted a "payroll padding" scheme.

PSC chairman William "Butch" Ramirez, who returned to work after a month-long leave to take care of his sick wife, wrote the OSG on Monday.

"We need all the help we can get to get to the bottom of this and make every effort that nothing of this sort ever happens again," said Ramirez, who also convened the PSC board on Monday to discuss the issue.

In his letter to the OSG, Ramirez sought "assistance in instituting proper proceedings relative to the complaint filed against Paul Michael Ignacio," including garnishment of all real or personal property and the reversion of these back to the government.

Ignacio was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation last week. The administrative assistant is accused of stealing over P14 million from the agency's funds through a scheme where he would add names of coaches and athletes who are no longer in the PSC's list to its payroll, before submitting it to Land Bank.

The agency was alerted by the bank of "red flags," according to PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez, who was the officer-in-charge when Ramirez was on leave.

The incident has also prompted the agency to take stock of its entire operations, some areas of which received ISO certification just last year. 

"The board is 100% with the chairman on this," said Fernandez.

Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr., deputy executive director for support, has been appointed to lead the legal team in pursuing the case.

The board also approved to have process and organizational auditors help the agency in its mission to fortify all bureaus. 

This, Ramirez explained, is because the PSC needs "fresh eyes to take a look at our processes and seek out areas that need to be strengthened." 

Another online meeting is set on Wednesday between the board and the audit team.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).