By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) prescribing rules and regulations and rates of expenses and allowances for official local and foreign travels of all government officials and employees.
“Outdated rates of travel expenses, varying regional differences on local travel costs, and other economic and fiscal considerations warrant the review of current rates of expenses and allowances on official travels,” EO 77 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on March 15, 2019.
The Order reminds state workers that any local and foreign travels should be “fairly reasonable, cost-effective and within the financial capability of the government.”
For official local travel beyong 50-kilometer radius from the permanent official station, personnel on official travel are entitled to allowable transportation expenses and reasonable miscellaneous expenses; daily travel expenses from P1,500 to P2,200; apportioned travel expenses; travel expenses in excess of authorized travel rates; and precluding double payment of travel expenses.
Those who travel within the 50-kilometer radius are also eligible for transportation expenses, hotel/lodging expense, and food and drink expenses.
On one hand, government officials and employees on official travel abroad are allowed transportation expenses, clothing allowance from US$200 to US$400, daily subsistence allowance (DSA), payment of DSA differential, reimbursement of representation expenses from US$300 to US$1,000, and travel insurance.
Section 25 of the Order directs the Travel Rates Committee to conduct a regular review of the travel rates every three years based on the survey of lodging costs to be conducted by the Department of Tourism, and other economic indicators to be provided by the Philippines Statistics Authority.