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Salary hike at SEC illegal – COA

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) spent more than P241.5 million on illegal salary increases for its personnel and on the unauthorized hiring of additional employees in 2013, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

In an audit report released Friday, the COA said the SEC should have sought permission from President Benigno Aquino III and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) before approving the additional wages for its officials and employees.

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As for the creation of 61 new plantilla positions, the state auditors said the SEC should have first secured the approval of the DBM.

The COA said the issue of unlawful salary increases of SEC personnel, which amounted to P174.3 million from January 2012 to December 2013, was brought to the attention of the commission in 2012.

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“The unauthorized increase in salaries and wages of the officials and employees of the SEC was continuously implemented… thereby resulting in excessive payment of personal services for two years,” the COA said.

 

Reiteration

“This is a reiteration of the previous year’s audit observation whereby the [SEC] failed to secure the approval of the President on the compensation plan [it] approved… before implementing the salary increase,” it added.

Auditors recommended that the SEC stop the salary increases until it gets the approval of the President upon the recommendation of the DBM.

It also said that one of the conditions for the release of a $200-million loan from the Asian Development Bank to the Philippine government was the “implementation of the action plan for the organizational restructuring of the SEC, including salary adjustments of the staff.”

 

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COA replies

In a text message to the Inquirer, SEC Chair Teresita Herbosa said:

“We have responded to COA on this several times. The salaries were in accordance with the 2000 Pay Plan approved by SEC and the then President.”

The Securities Regulation Code provides that salaries at the SEC shall be comparable to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Monetary Board.

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TAGS: Commission on Audit, DBM, Department of Budget and Management, President Benigno Aquino III, salary increase, SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission
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