By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Commission on Audit (CoA) will order the Provincial Treasurer and Accounting Offices to start collecting the disallowed 14th month pay handed out to Iloilo capitol employees in 2002.

The audit agency will send a letter to the accounting office today (December 21, 2009) directing the office to take up in the Capitol’s books of accounts as “receivables from employees” the 14th month pay.

Accountants of all district hospitals will also be included in the CoA directive.

The CoA letter will require accountants to start recording in their books all refunds of the 14th month pay in 2002 which the CoA disallowed.

The audit agency said in its 2002 annual audit report that there was an anomaly in the release of the 14th month pay, amounting to P21,001,364 to Capitol employees and officials last December 2002.

According to COA, the province exceeded the 45% Personnel Services (PS) limitation provided by the Local Government Code (LGC). PS refers to the component of the annual budget for the salaries and benefits of employees of a local government unit.

The provincial government then filed before the Supreme Court a petition for review against CoA’s findings.

But the SC backed CoA’s findings and ordered the provincial government to refund the 14th month pay it released to the capitol employees.

CoA will also ask the Iloilo provincial treasurer to comply with the Notice of Final Disallowance and Final Order of Adjudication issued earlier by the audit body after the SC’s en banc decision became final and executory.

The Final Order of Adjudication instructed the treasurer to withhold payment of salaries or any money due to capitol employees if they fail to refund the 14th month pay.

The CoA said any payment of salaries or any money due them (capitol employees) in violation of the final order of adjudication “will be disallowed in audit and you (provincial treasurer) will be held liable therefore.”