SC rejects high bonuses for Psalm employees in 2008-A A +A
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
REWARDING employees with 5.5 times their monthly salary for meeting corporate targets of Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm) is illegal for not getting the immediate approval of the President of the Philippines, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.
In affirming the notice of disallowance issued by the Commission on Audit (COA), the SC said section 64 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) requires Psalm to clear any salary increase and creation of new positions and levels with the Chief Executive.
Psalm handed out the corporate performance-based incentive in 2008 but secured the approval of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the year after.
"The Court found there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of COA because the belated presidential approval was not a substantial compliance with the Epira requirement. Further, it also noted that the supposed presidential approval was not even included with the Psalm’s petition,” the SC Public Information Office said.
COA said the bonuses were “excessive and beyond just measure” and violated the government’s austerity policy. Taxes were also allegedly charged to Psalm and not withheld from the employees.
Psalm is a state-run firm mandated to privatize assets of National Power Corp. (Napocor) like power plants to pay for its multi-billion peso debt. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)