Palace: PCSO can explain COA findings-A A +A
Monday, February 18, 2013
MANILA -- Malacañang is confident that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will be able to explain the Commission on Audit (COA) findings of a P10 million in authorized salaries and allowances in 2011.
"The PCSO Board and their Admin and Finance department will really be in a better position to be able to explain the ins and outs of these amounts that were reported," Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
She said the trust and confidence of Malacañang in PCSO board remains as the observations of COA were "ordinary" and "happen in the normal course of business."
She also appealed to public to hold off judgment first and give the PCSO directors a chance to defend themselves.
"Normally, what we do for every agency that has a notice of disallowance from the COA or, again, any audit observations, the relevant Administration and Finance officials of that agency are asked to coordinate with the Commission on Audit on the recommendations, etcetera, and on the findings. Meron naman ding panahon for them to dispute certain observations or to provide more paperwork," she said.
She recalled that, last year, COA also released an audit observation on the salaries and allowances of the PCSO board, which they were able to justify.
Valte could not confirm whether COA Commissioner Grace Pulido-Tan was able to bring up the issue with President Benigno Aquino III when they met during the reception for the delegates of Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions in Malacañang.
PCSO Board Chairman Margarita Juico and members Joaquin Franciso III, Betty Nantes, Ma. Aleta Tolentino and Mabel Mamba were asked by COA to reimburse the salaries, allowances and benefits they received in 2011 totaling P9.617 million.
"The board was paid P5.507 million in per diems for board meetings, committee meetings and draw allowances (paid for attending lottery draws) but still collected an extra P9,617,576.25 representing salaries, transportation, educational assistance, sweepstakes and lotto draw allowances, revenue performance incentives, cost of living, hazard, rice and staple food, clothing and other benefits," the report said.
The COA said the payment of the almost P10 million in salaries and allowances to the board in addition to their per diems and differential of per diems was contrary to Executive Order 19 and 24.
EO 19, dated December 30, 2010, extended the suspension of allowances, bonuses, incentives and other perks to directors of government-owned and -controlled corporations and government financial institutions, but allowed reasonable per diems, until Jan. 31, 2011.
EO 24 dated February 10, 2011, on the other hand, states that board members shall not be allowed to receive salaries, allowances, benefits and other bonuses unless specifically authorized by law and approved by the President. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)