COA affirms disallowance of P4.54-M benefits for Tidcorp board's ex-officio members
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Monetary Board (MB) member Peter Favila and former MB member Armando Suratos who sought to reverse a 2019 ruling related to P4.54 million worth of cash benefits they received from 2005 to 2010.
COA's latest ruling affirms the notice of disallowance against the payment of P4.54 milllion worth of cash benefits to ex-officio members of the Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines' (Tidcorp) Board of Directors.
Citing the Supreme Court's earlier pronouncements that the Constitution prohibits additional compensation for an ex-officio position, COA chairman Michael Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose Fabia and Roland Pondoc said there was no legal basis to grant the said cash benefits.
"Thus, even if they are not members of the Cabinet, movants are still not entitled to the allowances and benefits subject of the disallowance," the COA said.
Suratos had argued in the appeal that the rule against additional compensation does not apply to them as they are non-members of the Cabinet. Favila, meanwhile, said he received the cash benefits in good faith and noted that the additional compensation was authorized by a board resolution and the Tidcorp Charter.
The COA, however, said it was "not persuaded" by the arguments.
"Movant's arguments are mere rehash of those already raised in their petition for review and memorandum of appear. Without prior approval from the President and being clear circumvention of the law, the subject allowances remain illegal and irregular," the commission said.
Aside from Favila and Suratos, also held liable were former Bangko Sentral governors Amando Tetangco and the late Nestor Espenilla, and MB member Alberto Reyes. – Rappler.com