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Calida: COA can’t stop hefty OSG allowances, honoraria

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Solicitor General Jose Calida said the Commission on Audit cannot dictate what his office should when it comes to receiving allowances and honoraria.

Calida made the statement in reaction to COA’s 2016 audit report which accused the Office of the Solicitor General of receiving excessive allowances and extra compensation.

COA cited Circular 85-25-E which provides that the payment of services, incentives, remunerations, honoraria and all other extra compensations to government officials and employees “shall not exceed 50 percent of their annual basic salary.”

The COA reported Calida, who assumed office on June 30, had received allowances in excess of P1.123 million.

It also reported that his predecessor, Florin Hilbay, received more by P4.662 million.

“The OSG is steadfast in its position that a COA administrative circular cannot abrogate a substantive law such as the OSG Charter,” Calida said.