Cebu water district won't return P53M disallowed bonuses yet
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The water district of Cebu will not return yet the bonuses it gave to officials and employees which the Commission on Audit (COA) central office in Manila eventually disallowed.
Metro Cebu Water District will file a motion for reconsideration with the government's auditing body, said Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara, MCWD corporate communications officer.
“MCWD will file a motion for reconsideration since it believes that said bonuses and allowances were given with a legal basis," said Rodriguez-Kara.
MCWD is among the several water districts across the country, which the COA ordered to return about P89.95 million ($2.031 million) in illegal cash allowances and bonuses in findings released this month.
COA junked the petition filed by MCWD on a Notice of Disallowance issued originally by COA Central Visayas (COA-VII).
In the findings, the COA central office said the petition filed by then MCWD General Manager Amando Paredes was already beyond the reglamentary period of 180 days after the notice was issued by COA Region VII.
"Procedural rules are not to be belittled or dismissed simply because their non-observance may have resulted in prejudice to a party's substantive rights. Like all rules, they are required to be followed except only for the most persuasive of reasons when they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with the degree of his thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure prescribed," the decision reads, citing a Supreme Court decision in the case of Castillo vs. Court of Appeals.
The COA decision, signed by Chairman Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan, also said that Paredes' petition also did not cite reasons why the petition was filed belatedly beyond the allowed period. The petition was filed 196 days after the ND was issued.
COA records show that on June 14, 2011 the Audit Team Leader (ATL) for MCWD disallowed the grant of various benefits and allowances to officials and employees of MCWD totalling P53.33 million for either being excessive or lacking in legal basis.
The decision was affirmed by COA Central Visayas on July 16, 2012. MCWD's petition was filed 196 days or beyond the 180 day period.
"MCWD's legal department is currently drafting the motion which will be sent to the COA central office in Manila," said Kara.
Paredes is retired and has been replaced by engineer Ernie Delco. – Rappler.com