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Batangas provincial gov’t ready to return P45 million excess bonuses; Guv denies irregularity

Jul 21, 2015 @ 1:38

Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto has denied any irregularity in the P45 million extra bonuses given to provincial employees, saying the amount was sourced from savings that is allowed by the Local Government Code.

Nevertheless, Santos said the provincial government is ready to return the P45 million fund as ordered by the Commission on Audit (COA).

“At the moment, this is being discussed with COA. If the bonuses of the workers must be returned, we will follow the law,” the governor said in a story published by Manila Bulletin.

In an audit report, COA said the provincial government paid “excessive” incentives, particularly the yearend bonuses last year, to provincial officials and employees in violation of the Salary Standardization Law and COA regulations.

COA directed Santos to take steps in making all those who benefited from the unauthorized incentives comply with the audit recommendation.

Asked how long the provincial government will resolve the audit issue, Santos hopes to settle it “within a week or a month.”

She said COA has heeded to the provincial government’s appeal to present documents to assure the funds were judiciously released to the employees.

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