COA questions P48.5M bonuses for PEZA officials
MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit (COA) has questioned the grant of anniversary and Christmas bonuses to officials and employees of a government-owned and controlled corporation last year.
In a report released yesterday, state auditors said the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, released P48.5 million in unauthorized bonuses.
The COA report said officials and employees of PEZA received P23.5 million in anniversary bonuses in February last year even though 2012 was not a milestone year for PEZA.
Administrative Order 263 dated March 28, 1996 provides the grant of anniversary bonus to officials and employees of government entities on the occasion of its milestone anniversary.
State auditors said a milestone year as prescribed by Section 2.4 of the rules refers to the 15th anniversary and to every fifth year thereafter.
The COA report said a review of the agency’s corporate operating budget for 2012 also showed that the Department of Budget and Management did not allow the grant of anniversary bonus.
State auditors said PEZA officials and employees got P25 million in Christmas gifts, which “had neither legal basis nor the approval of the Office of the President.”
The grant of bonuses was also found to be contrary to the corporate operating budget of PEZA.
State auditors reminded management of PEZA that they would be held “responsible and personally liable” for any payment of unauthorized bonuses.
As to the Christmas gifts, the audit team said the PEZA management is “strongly enjoined to refrain from granting Christmas bonuses and/or other incentives without the recommendation of the DBM and the requisite presidential approval.”