Archive for March 18th, 2008

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/397079Basahin po ninyo ang nadiskubre ng Commission on Audit kung saan ginagamit ang pera nating mga OFW at ipakalat o ipaalam sa mga kasamahan natin na walang daan sa e-mail.THE Commission on Audit (COA) has rebuked the
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration for “illegally”
granting about P40 million in incentives and allowances to its
officials and employees for the past three years.

COA also took the POEA to task for allowing its executives and
employees who were issued mobile phones to download about P796,000
worth of games, tones, picture messages and other unauthorized items.

In its latest report, prepared by Director IV Roberto Marquez,
COA said the POEA drew P24.048 million from the funds of the Overseas
Workers’ Welfare Administration to grant an “incentive allowance” to its
personnel. Such use of OWWA funds is unauthorized, COA said.

It said that even if the OWWA Board of Trustees had justified
the giving of the incentive allowance by citing the increase in OWWA
collections from overseas Filipino workers, the move was “without
legal basis.”

Section 15 (e) of the General Appropriations Act, FY 2003 (as
reenacted in 2004), “as well as previous general appropriation acts,
provides that no government funds shall be [used] to pay honoraria,
allowances or other compensations to any government official or
employee, except those specifically authorized by law,” the report stated.

Section 3 of Administrative Order 103 also bans national
government agencies from granting new or additional benefits to their
officials and employees “except for Collective Negotiation

Agreement (CNA) Incentives and those expressly provided by
presidential issuance,” the COA said.

Although it recommended that the POEA management stop granting
the incentive allowance, COA acknowledged that the issue is awaiting
final disposition before the Legal Adjudication Office.

COA noted that the POEA granted P15.448 million for the CNA
signing bonus and rice allowance to its employees, a violation of
rules laid down by the Public Sector Labor Management Council.

COA said the POEA management and the employees’ union agreed on
a quarterly rice subsidy to its employees, including casuals, contractual and
temporary workers, and a P15,000 signing bonus “to be given on a
staggered basis within three years subject to the availability of

On the strength of the agreement signed on December 10, 2001,
the POEA granted P15.448 million from 2002 to 2004. But! the COA
reviewed the payments and found they could have violated the rules on CNA
signing bonus and allowances. Rice and other subsidies require
“appropriation of funds,” or approval from Congress and subsequent
enactment of the President, COA said.

COA also cited a May 16, 2002, circular from the Department of
the Budget and Management that said the President has issued a
“moratorium on the grant of CNA signing bonus due to some problems
raised on the payment and fund source.”

COA added that the moratorium has been in effect until these
problems are resolved and a policy is issued on the matter.

It also cited the July 11, 2002, decision of the Supreme Court
in the case of Social Security System v. COA, in which it ruled
against the signing bonus as a form of additional compensation under the

COA said that despite the Court’s earlier pronouncement against
the granting of incentives and allowances, the POEA in 2004 still gave
P7.2105 million to its employees and officials as signing bonus and
rice subsidies.

The POEA justified its move by saying that the budget department
had approved the release of incentives and allowances, COA said.

COA also questioned why the POEA failed to follow the guidelines
in its memorandum on October 26, 2001, covering the use of cell phones
after the POEA paid for the nonessential downloads made by its
officials and employees.

The POEA is supposed to put a limit on the use of cell phones,
but the audit on its telephone bills showed that P487,283.59 of the
P1.3-million total from 2003 to 2004 consisted of charges in excess of the
authorized limit.

Even POEA’s bookkeeper in charge admitted that she could not
impose limits on the use of ! the cell phones to some officials, COA

“We also noted that the POEA had incurred other charges
amounting to P308,747.58 in the use of the mobile phones, in addition
to the fixed charges of P400,002.80 due to subscription to Globe lines or
plans. These additional charges are value-added taxes and currency
adjustment fees. Other charges which are personal and which are easily
incurred and billed due to the nature of line subscription, include
share-a-load and its processing fee, GPRS such as Globe games, photo
messages, polyphonic ring tones,digital postcards, photo album, cinema and magazine
covers, premium java download, instant messaging and catxtcism, etc.,”
COA said.

To avoid further overpayments, COA recommended that the POEA
coordinate with Globe to shift to prepaid cards and end the
subscriptionof postpaid lines.

Norberto Villanueva

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By: Cecille – A Filipina in Qatar
All the managers wanted me in their departments. I was good. I was flexible. I was hard working. And I was fast. In a construction company with so many one-billion-projects, every minute counts. Every digit entered in the system matters.
I knew how to charm the suppliers and make them say “walla, habibi, mafi mushkel” when I give them cheques which are 150 days postdated even if the payment terms are cash upon delivery.
I was pretty, too.
I was “one of the best elements” of the company.
I earned compliments. I earned the respect. But I didn’t earn a raise.
I was a Filipina. I still am, and I always will be.
They all love to say “I hate racial discrimination.” Such baloney.
The very people who told me that I am better in my field than any of the middle easterns would say that my salary is enough for an Asian.
Just because I am tanned, does it mean that my expenses are less than that of my fair-skinned counterparts?
Just because I have to jump when I need some old files situated at the top of the shelves, does it mean that the milk my son is drinking is cheaper than the cigarettes they are smoking?
Just because I have to step on heavy duty punchers to make holes on thick documents, does it mean that I cannot have a title whose holder has to sit on an executive chair behind an exquisite desk?
Just because I have to go to the children’s section to buy my clothes, does it mean that I do not get affected by the way each nationality is being treated?
When they finally let me go, they employed three of their own to replace me, each one earning twice as much as I used to, only to learn that, nobody can accomplish what I could in a given period of time.
I am a Filipina.
I don’t have a car, but I can go to the office earlier than everybody else, and stay there later than the time the busy mice decide to call it a day.
I don’t have a mac, but I’m smart.
I don’t have a tall nose, but I’m beautiful.
I could pass as a “somebody” if only I had a different passport.
But I am a Somebody. Because I am a Filipina.
I know how to defend myself. I know how to stand tall. I know how to keep my chin up. Don’t beg for my number. Don’t ask me for a date. Don’t expect to see my smile.
You are forgetting that I am a Filipina.

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