COA chief: Nothing irregular with Senate cash gifts

Posted at 01/10/2013 6:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The chairperson of the Commission on Audit on Thursday said there is nothing irregular with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's decision to distribute savings of the Senate to fellow senators.

COA Chairwoman Grace Pulido-Tan said the General Appropriations Act clearly states that the Senate has the authority to augment any item in the GAA from any savings in their respective appropriations.

She said that based on the GAA, the Senate President clearly has discretionary power to augment or determine the allowances or benefits of members of the Senate.

"The discretion is vested on the Senate President," she said.

Pulido-Tan said the COA usually audits the budget for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) but does not audit salaries, wages and bonuses.

Enrile earlier said he distributed more than P2 million each to 18 senators out of the Senate's savings while only giving P250,000 to 4 senators.

ANC TOP STORY, January 10, 2013