MUST SHARE: SSS Execs, Personnel Ordered By COA To Return P71 M

MANILA, Philippines - Officials and personnel of the Social Security System (SSS) must return to the government over P71.612 million in unauthorized bonuses, the Commission on Audit (COA) has ruled.

These included “short-term variable pay,” Christmas gifts and bank gift certificates. Commissioners Heidi Mendoza and Jose Fabia dismissed with finality the petition for review of SSS management in a decision dated April 1, 2015 but released only on Friday last week.

“Under the Doctrine of Finality of Judgment enunciated by the Supreme Court…a decision which has become final cannot be changed or modified even if the modification is meant to correct an erroneous conclusion of fact or law,” read the COA decision. “Moreover, the petitioners have not offered any argument that would justify the belated filing of the instant petition for review. This Commission finds no compelling reason to relax its procedural rules.”

The SSS questioned the notice of disallowance that state auditors had issued against the allowances and other benefits granted three years ago. The bonuses were disallowed in an annual audit report for not being part of the Corporate Operating Budget of SSS in 2012 in violation of COA rules.

The SSS appealed the original notice of disallowance issued on June 13, 2012, but COA denied the appeal in a resolution issued on Nov. 5, 2013.

The petition for review was the second appeal denied for failing to raise new arguments, records show.


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