COA finds Sibonga workers’ pay differential in 2011 irregular-A A +A
Thursday, September 27, 2012
STATE auditors found irregularities in the way the Municipal Government of Sibonga gave out 256-day daily wage differential to job-order employees.
The Commission on Audit (COA) noted that the Sibonga Municipal Government spent P295,585.28 for the daily wage differentials of 110 job-order workers. Out of the 110, 67 job-order employees were given a rate of P8.46 a day while the rest got P13.67 per day.
COA recommended that the Municipal Government order those who received the differential to refund the amount they claimed. If not, it warned that municipal officials and employees responsible for the release of the wage differential will be made liable.
Sibonga Mayor Lionel Bacaltos told Sun.Star Cebu that the daily wage differentials served as pay adjustment for the job-order workers, especially those involved in utility work for the town. He said even with the adjustment, the salaries of the job-order workers do not exceed the prescribed minimum daily wage of P280.
COA said the wage differential lacked legal basis.
The wage differential is supported by a municipal resolution adopted by the Municipal Council on December 19, 2011. But aside from pointing out that the minimum wage of the job-order employees are below the prescribed wage standard, the wage differential did not cite other legal basis, COA said.
State auditors said the release of the amount was “considerably irregular,” under Section 1.1 of Civil Service Commission Resolution 020790.
“Fixing the minimum daily salary is applicable only to private sector workers,” COA auditors said.
Mayor Bacaltos said the wage differential was given after the local government realized savings.
He said the decision to use the savings to give salary differential to job-order employees, especially those involved drainage clearing and other utility work.
Bacaltos said that before wage differential, Sibonga job-order employees were paid P150 a day. With the differential, the daily wage of some workers went up to P158 while others got P163.
COA also noted that of the 13 recommendations it made in the 2010 audit report, Sibonga implemented only one, which was to stop making advance payments to suppliers of its Bonga Festival.
The Municipal Government had started implementing eight but failed to implement two recommendations of COA.
In its 2010 audit report on Sibonga, COA noted that the local government made an advance payment of P397,500 to suppliers of costumes, props and others of the Bonga Festival.
The advance payments violated Section 88 of Presidential Decree 1445, or the Auditing Code of the Philippines.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 27, 2012.