SC nullifies COA order for Bangko Sentral execs to return P582K ‘excess’ allowance
The Supreme Court (SC) has nullified the Commission on Audit’s (COA) order for former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., and Deputy Governor Armando Suratos to return to the government P582,500 in allegedly excessive allowances received.
In a recent 19-page en banc decision, the SC said the BSP officials were entitled to representation and transportation allowances (RATA) as ex-officio members of the board of directors of the Philippine International Convention Center, Inc. (PICCI).
The SC disagreed with the COA’s ruling that the PICCI By-aws authorized only the payment of per diem to the board members.
It cited its 2010 decision in the case of Singson v. COA, which declared the grant of RATA to PICCI board members who were also BSP officers to be valid and not in violation of the constitutional ban on double compensation.
The SC added that Executive Order Number 24, which required the President’s approval for any increase in the rate of per diems, should not be applied because it only took effect on March 21, 2011. The per diems questioned by the COA were granted from January 2010 to February 2011.
The decision was penned by Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier. #