MANILA -- The Senate Secretariat welcomes a probe into their allowances, Senate Secretary Emma Lirio-Reyes said Thursday.

In a signed statement, Reyes said: “We have always exercised transparency in all our affairs.”

She said the large allowances given to Senate staff were meant to attract “the best and brightest” into public service.

“The salaries and allowances of Senate officials and employees were never a secret and our compensation records have always been open to public scrutiny.”

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said also Thursday that the allowances are reasonable.

According to news reports, the Commission on Audit is investigating allowances of P30,000 to P200,000 granted to Senate employees. These were larger than their monthly salaries and even the salaries of senators. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)