THE so-called Dietary Supplement Allowance of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) is illegal.
This is according to the Commission on Audit (CoA) which ordered the Napolcom to stop granting its officials and employees the questioned cash stipend.
In its 2018 audit report, CoA said payment of Dietary Supplement Allowance amounting to P9,090,000 to the officials and employees of the Commission including contract of service (COS) and job order personnel is without legal basis.
The CoA auditors said the extra pay was contrary to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1445, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Circular No. 16 s. 1998, and RA 6758 or the Salary Standardization Law.
Records showed that the allowance was released in cash over four quarters P2.222 million in the first quarter, P2.264 million in the second, P2.292 million in the third, and P2.312 million in the fourth.
Of the P9 mllion amount, P8.234 million went to regular officials and employees of the agency while the balance of P856,000 went to job order and COS personnel.
Napolcom management tried to defend the fund release claiming it can be considered part of the Preventive Health Care Program to promote the health of workers pursuant to Administrative Order No. 402.
The CoA however said AO No. 402 is only limited to defraying the cost of a medical check-up as defined by the Joint Circular No. 1 of the DBM, the Department of Health, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).
“Nothing in AO No. 402 refers to prescription drug benefits or dietary supplement benefits,” the CoA said.
Under the same rule, CoA further said, the funds shall be used only to pay for health check-ups and may not be released as a cash allowance.
In reaction to the audit finding, the Napolcom management invoked good faith saying they thought that the grant was justified but was only informed of the adverse CoA position upon the issuance of Audit Observation Memorandum No. 2017-10 dated October 24, 2017.
It said in compliance with the AOM, the Napolcom will no longer release the Dietary Supplement Allowance to its officials and employees.