THE Commission on Audit (COA) said the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has granted its officials and employees unauthorized salary increases totaling P267.4 million from 2012 to 2014.
In its recently released annual audit reports, the COA said the SEC paid unauthorized salary increases amounting to P92,740,109.10 in 2012 and P81,551,010.25 in 2013. It said that for 2014, the total amount paid in unauthorized salary hikes reached P93,128,229.56. “The SEC continuously granted unauthorized increase in salaries and wages to its officials and employees despite its failure to secure approval from the President, thereby resulting in excessive payment of personnel services and salaries and wages,” the COA said.
Under the 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA), the SEC is allowed to augment its maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay expenditures of up to P100 million.
However, the COA said the salary adjustments for officials and employees may only be granted with presidential approval.
“Likewise, the commission also continued to source out the fund for the payment of said increase for personnel services for CY 2014 from its retained income contrary to Section I, Special Provisions of [2014 GAA],” the COA said.
The SEC, however, said it has “obtained favorable recommendation” from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that the Palace will grant the pending request for salary increase.
“We recommended that [SEC] stop payment of salary increases until such time that the favorable recommendation made by the DBM Secretary [Florencio B. Abad] to the President is approved in accordance with existing provisions of the law,” the COA said.