Guv on Christmas bonus: We will just give what is allowed

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Wednesday confirmed that provincial government employees will receive lesser Christmas bonuses this year compared to 2021.

“We will now be giving what is allowed (by COA),” Lacson said in a press briefing.

“We will now stop this policy of giving knowing that this will be denied,” he added.

Earlier, Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said the Commission on Audit (COA) disallowed the release of incentive benefits for exemplary service (IBES).

“Every year, the COA sends the provincial government a notice of disallowance based on its Observation Audit Memorandum,” Diaz pointed out.

Lacson further said, “let us already stop that, because at the end of the day, it will still be the employees who will be affected because this will be deducted from their benefits once they retire.”

He said that the provincial government has continued to appeal the previous COA disallowances but these were denied.

“We still continue to appeal,” he said.

But Diaz assured employees that the capitol will still release extra bonuses such as the performance-based bonus (PBB), which is based on the performance target percentage of the employees’ salary grades.

“We have a source for the additional bonus – from unused funds and surplus,” he assured.

Last year, 3,400 provincial government employees received additional bonuses totaling P65,000 each.

The added perks included P25,000 from the collective negotiation agreement (CNA) bonus, P25,000 for the IBES, P5,000 for the PBB, and P10,000 for the service recognition incentive.