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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

COA wants individual report of employees before granting cash incentives

UNTIL an individual evaluation report on the employees is furnished, the Commission on Audit (COA) is suspending the Cebu City Government’s to grant of cash incentive bonus amounting P129 million to its regular and casual personnel.

Through the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (Praise), each regular and casual employee has received P30,000 worth of cash incentive bonus as of October last year.

This, after the City was awarded second place for Highly Urbanized Cities (Infrastructure) and third place for Highly Urbanized Cities (Over-all Competitiveness) during the third Regional Competitiveness Summit held in Manila City last July 2015.

However, the absence of individual accomplishment, appraisal, or evaluation reports or contribution and lack of compliance with the provisions of Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular 1 and Praise guideline of the City Government prompted state auditors to impose the moratorium.

Praise

The memorandum reads that: “The system shall be designed to encourage creativity, innovativeness, efficiency, integrity and productivity in the public service by recognizing and rewarding officials and employees, individually or in groups for their suggestions, inventions, superior accomplishments and other personal efforts.”

It also provides that these efforts must contribute to the economy, or other improvement in government operations, or for other extraordinary acts or services in the public interest.

Praise, on the other hand, should adhere to the principle of providing incentives and awards based on performance, innovative ideas and exemplary behavior.

This would mean that a set of criteria, performance indicators and procedures in evaluating employees as bases of awards and recognition should have been set by the City.

“Suggestions, innovations, inventions, personal efforts and other contributions should be specific and identifiable,” COA said.

Approved by CSC in October 2008, Praise aims to establish a mechanism for identifying, selecting, rewarding and providing incentives to deserving employees at the start of each year.

It also provides the identification of outstanding accomplishments and best practices of employees on a continuing basis.

“Cash incentive granted should have been supported with individual evaluation reports assessing the performance and conduct of each employee by means of the agency Praise committee’s established system of incentives and awards to recognize and motivate employees for their performance and conduct,” COA said.

State auditors found that disbursements relative to the cash advances granted to accountable officers Mare Vae Reyes and Anya Chan on December 8 to 11, 2015 amounting P154.7 million covered the payment for cash incentive bonus to the City Government’s regular and casual personnel.

Aside from this, cash incentive bonus totaling P309,000 was also given to 10 other employees.

The Department of Budget and Management’s review last February on fiscal year 2015’s Supplemental Budget No. 2, on the other hand, stipulated that the grant of incentive awards shall strictly follow the CSC memorandum.

“We recommend the enjoined immediate submission of the employees individual accomplishment, appraisal or evaluation reports or employees contribution in compliance to the provisions,” COA said.
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