P17-M perk for Antique Capitol workers ‘irregular’

By: Gerome Dalipe

THE cash incentives released to officials and employees of the Antique Provincial Government amounting to P17.01 million in 2018 are deemed “irregular,” state auditors ruled.

In its annual report for 2018, the Commission on Audit (COA) the collective negotiation agreement (CNA) incentives to the Capitol, personnel is not in accordance with the guidelines provided in the Department of Budget and Management and Circular 2018-5.

“Clearly, the recognition of the accrual for the payment of the CNA incentive has no legal basis yet on the date it was recognized and recorded,” read the COA report.

The Provincial Government and the United Provincial Government Employees of Antique entered into a collective negotiation agreement last Dec. 04, 2018.

The agreement aims at establishing a working environment which shall promote a harmonious relationship to enhance employees’ welfare and productive contribution to the attainment of genuine public service.

The Local Finance Committee recommended the grant of incentives to every regular employee of the Provincial Government amounting to P16,500 in 2018.

Administrative Order 135 authorized the grant of CAN incentive to employees in government agencies to recognize the efforts of labor and management to achieve all planned targets, programs and services approved in the agency’s budget at a lesser cost.

Sec. 4.42 of the budget circular stipulates that payment of the CNA incentive cannot be given immediately upon signing and ratification of the agreement.

Last Jan. 11, 201, cash advances totaling P16,588,628.40 were granted for the payment of the CNA incentive and cash disbursements totaling to P16,585,878.

The audit team received a budget review from the Province for the 2018 supplemental budget of the general fund amounting to P17,391,000.

But state auditors, however, said the grant of the CNA incentive to the officials and employees of the Provincial Government does not adhere to the guidelines provided in the DBM budget circular 2018-5 and pertinent resolutions.

The auditors said they requested from the proof of ratification of the signed agreement by the majority of the rank-and-file employees in the negotiation unit, but to no avail.

And since the appropriation ordinance took effect only on Dec. 31, 2018, the auditors said there was no authority yet for the payment of CAN incentive.

Thus, the grant and payment of the CNA incentive to the officials and employees of the Provincial Government is deemed an irregular expenditure, pursuant to COA Circular 2012-003.

In the report, the auditors asked the Provincial Government to adhere to the rules, regulations, and guidelines governing the grant of CNA incentive.