The Supreme Court has sustained the decision rendered by the Commission on Audit (COA) compelling the officials and employees of the National Housing Authority (NHA) to return the allowances and bonuses they “illegally” received for the period 2008 to 2009 amounting to P367.8 million.
In a 21-page en banc decision written by Associate Justice Ricardo Rosario, the SC unanimously di missed for lack of merit the petition filed by NHA officials and its rank-and-file employees seeking the reversal of the COA’s decision issued on January 26, 2018.
The COA through then chair man Michael Aguinaldo approved the decision of COA Corporate Government Sector (CGS)-Cluster 2 decision issued on August 13, 2015, which affirmed the notices of disallowances (NDs) issued by its special audit team, pertaining to the payment of allowances, bonuses, and other benefits to the officers and employees of the NHA for 2008 to 2009.
The COA audit team held that the grant of incentives, bonuses, and allowances violated Section 12 of Republic Act No. 6758 otherwise known as “An Act Prescribing A Revised Compensation and Position Classification System in the Government” directing heads of government-owned-and-controlled corporations, government financial
institutions to implement pay rationalization in all senior positions.
The government auditing agency stressed that NHA violated Section 45 of RA Nos. 9498, or An Act A propriating Funds for the Operation of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines from January to December 2008, and 9524 or An Act Appropriating Funds for the Operation of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines from January to December 2009.