Thursday, June 27

COA wants Napolcom to stop paying personnel dietary benefits

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MANILA, Philippines – State auditors called as illegal the payment of dietary supplement allowance to officials and personnel of the National Police Commission (Napolcom).

“Payment of Dietary Supplement Allowance amounting to P9,090,000 to the officials and employees of the Commission including contract of service (COS) and job order personnel is without legal basis,” the Commission on Audit (COA) said in its 2018 audit report of the Napolcom.

Auditors found that Napolcom paid a total of P9.09 million in dietary benefits, bulk of which went to regular officials and employees, with P856,000 paid to contractual personnel.

The COA said this violated Presidential Decree No. 1445, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Circular No. 16 s. 1998, and RA 6758 or the Salary Standardization Law.

The Napolcom management told COA the dietary benefits can be charged to the Preventive Health Care Program, which is pursuant to Administrative Order (AO) No. 402. The Preventive Health Care Program is aimed at promoting the health of workers. 

But auditors said AO No. 402 is limited to setting up a medical check-up program for government personnel. 

“Nothing in AO No. 402 refers to prescription drug benefits nor dietary supplement benefits,” said COA.

The Napolcom said they paid dietary benefits in good faith, and reasoned that they were only called out through an Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) on October 24, 2017.

The Napolcom said they would comply with the AOM and would no longer release the dietary benefits going forward. The risk for Napolcom officials is the possibility of a disallowance, which auditors have not indicated at this point.

Other allowances 

It turned out that there were 6 other types of allowances given out worth P51.22 million that COA had recommended be stopped in recent years, but Napolcom did not comply. 

These were found on the part of the audit report on the status of implementation of prior recommendations.

They are the following, flagged from 2017:

  • Basic commodity allowance (P28.75 million)
  • Rice allowance (P14.985 million)
  • Dietary supplement allowance (P1.9 million)
  • Gift checks (P3.855 million)
  • Medical laboratory allowance (P906,500)
  • Food basket allowance (P686,800)
  • Collective negotiation agreement (P135,270).

 Auditors said “management did not comply with the recommendation.” – Rappler.com

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