THE Commission on Audit (COA) has recommended to the Balamban Municipal Government to stop granting the town’s Commission on Elections (Comelec) officer an honoraria and to require him to refund the P55,000 he has received.

In its 2013 Annual Audit Report on Balamban, COA stated that Section 5 of the Local Budget Circular 62 lists officials of national government agencies who may collect additional compensation in the form of honoraria from the local government unit (LGU) where they are assigned.

Exceptions

Only prosecutors (provincial and city fiscals) and their assistants; judges of the Regional Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities and clerks of courts; fire station commander; police station commander of the Philippine National Police; municipal government operations officers; and public school teachers are entitled to an honoraria.

“The election officer of the Comelec was not among the national government officials mentioned who are allowed to receive honoraria from the municipality where they are assigned, thus this grant is illegal,” the COA reported stated.

No legal basis

The COA also noted that the granting of cash gifts, yearend bonuses and productivity enhancement incentives to job-order workers, each totaling P10,000, P17,700 and P40,000, respectively, constitutes illegal disbursement of public funds.

The COA said the contract covers lump sum work, or services, such as janitorial, security or consultancy services where no employer-employee relationship exists as provided for by a Civil Service Commission memorandum.

The COA said the Balamban Municipal Government explained that the funding of the salaries of the job order workers is sourced from personal services of the 28 barangays as embodied in the contract of service.

The contract was the basis of the granting of benefits.

However, the auditor said the contract was without legal basis because the persons the Municipality hired were on job-order basis, so there is no employer-employee relationship. (EOB)