MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA), in a move that affirms its initial decision made in 2010, has directed Social Security System (SSS) officials and personnel to return over P6.1 million in unauthorized incentives issued to them in 2005.
This most recent ruling dated May 8, 2014 reads, in part: “High-level employees who are not considered party-in-interest to the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) are not entitled thereto.”
The SSS had filed a petition seeking to reverse the agency’s initial findings, but COA Chairperson, Ma.Gracia Pulido-Tan and COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza denied the move for reversal.
The amount to be refunded represents a portion of disbursements that became the subject of a ‘notice of disallowance’ on payments of CNA.
Though the SSS tried to defend itself, with regards to the nature of the CAN payments, the explanations were rejected by the COA, which said that the SS was merely trying to skirt the issues and technicalities involved.
“Notwithstanding the nomenclature given to the incentive, it is the purpose/source of the grant which will determine its very nature. Indeed, the nomenclature appears to be merely a design to circumvent existing rules governing CNA and the same should not be countenanced,” the decision read.