THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to waive the disallowances of MCWD officials and personnel.
Jose Daluz III, MCWD chairman of the board of directors, said it will be the employees who will be affected as the disallowances will be deducted from their salaries.
In its 2020 audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) brought up the disallowed benefits, which included rice and housing allowances, Christmas bonuses and medical expenses that go back to 2010.
Daluz said the MCWD union argued that the allowances and benefits were established through a collective negotiation agreement. However, these surpassed the consolidation of employee benefits given that the MCWD is a government agency, he said.
Daluz said the MCWD discontinued payment of the disallowed benefits in 2019, when the Supreme Court (SC) affirmed the COA’s ruling, which was issued in 2014 yet.
The COA has instructed the MCWD general manager to start the collection of payment in August 2021, he said.
Daluz said the board hopes the President will act on their request, as it will not only benefit the MCWD but also 500 other water districts nationwide, which face a similar issue.
Daluz said they rely on the President’s residual power.
Around 700 employees had benefited from the disallowed allowances and bonuses. Since some of them are no longer connected with the MCWD, the remaining employees will be forced to pay for the disallowances, he said.
If the President doesn’t approve their request, Daluz said the MCWD will have no choice but to collect payment.
In an official statement, the MCWD said it has no intention of defying any order, adding that it submits to the authority of the SC and the COA.
The MCWD also stated that it had asked the COA to postpone collection due to the coronavirus pandemic. (JJL)