As COA lifts disallowance: Aid for Cebu City teachers to resume
CEBU, Philippines — The notice of disallowance the Commission on Audit issued last year against the P5,000 financial assistance for teachers in Cebu City has been lifted.
Raddy Diola, authorized representative of Mayor Edgardo Labella in the Local School Board, confirmed this yesterday.
Labella announced earlier that all public school teachers will be receiving P10,000 financial assistance from the city government for this month of December.
“This year murag naa gihapoy deduction unta, but the mayor said that he would like to give the financial assistance in full,” said Diola.
Diola said this year is set to be the final year for the P5,000 disallowance, but Labella wanted the teachers to receive the financial assistance in full.
“Gusto niyang ihatag ang full amount kay niingon siya nga teachers are the most overworked and underpaid,” said Diola.
“Teachers are also up on a ‘war against ignorance’,” he added.
He said such disallowance was issued in 2017 during former mayor Tomas Osmeña’s administration.
Diola disclosed that it is up to Labella if he suspends the disallowance during his entire term as mayor.
In 2016, COA disallowed Cebu City from paying public school teachers cost of living allowance (COLA) for the months of January to December 2015 amounting to P80.2 million.
“The legal basis presented by the city in paying the cited allowances is without merit due to the provisions of the following laws, rules and regulations,” read the COA report dated October 20, 2016.
COA cited that under Section 6 of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Budget Circular No. 2001-03, the giving of COLA to teachers is deemed unauthorized.
“In view of the foregoing, payment of allowances and compensations, such as COLA, amelioration allowance and inflation-connected allowance, among others, which are already integrated in the basic salary, are deemed unauthorized,” read COA’s report.
In 2015, at least 8,000 public school teachers benefitted from COLA.
It was during the term of former mayor Michael Rama that the city government released the COLA to all public school teachers amounting to P2,000 per month.
Diola said the suspension of the P5,000 disallowance is indeed a good news for the teachers.
“Labi nag natangtangan sila sa ilang COLA before. Every peso counts for them kay daghan mga teachers gani nga they spend their personal funds for the students and classrooms,” said Diola.
The city also allocated another P5 million for the teachers’ Christmas parties, which will cover food and prizes, if needed.
This P5 million is part of the city’s 2019 annual budget. (FREEMAN)