COA tells DOH to return P14-million hazard pay
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) affirmed its decision requiring the Department of Health (DOH) to return hazard pay given in 2009 and 2010.
In a decision dated November 24, state auditors said health officials and personnel above Salary Grade 20 should return hazard pay amounting to P14,044,270.79 ($278,357.447).
This comes as COA denied the petition for review filed by the DOH regarding two notices of disallowance issued for hazard pay during the period. The petition, said COA, was filed beyond the allowable 180-day period.
But even if the DOH had filed within the allowable period, COA said there is still no basis to lift the notices of disallowance.
COA noted that the health department did not observe the rule stated in Republic Act No. 7305 which states hazard pay for public health workers above Salary Grade 20 should be limited to 5% of their monthly salaries.
"The petitioner failed to adduce new and material evidence that would warrant a reversal or modification of the COA decision," the commission said.
"DOH is not empowered to fix an exact amount of hazard pay accruing to public health workers with Salary Grade 20 and above, deviating from the 5% monthly salary benchmark," it added. – Rappler.com
P50.7 = $1