The Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered former board members of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to return P13.75 million in unauthorized benefits and bonuses they received from September 2010 to December 2011.
In a recently released decision dated Dec. 13, the COA denied the appeal of former PCSO Chair Margarita Juico and former General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II to set aside the six notices of disallowance dated Jan. 10, 2013.
The COA said the grant of P11.8 million in allowances and incentives violated Executive Order Nos. 7 and 19, which in 2010 suspended such benefits for board members of government corporations.
The PCSO argued that the benefits had presidential approval purportedly under the “continuing authority” contained in the Jan. 13, 1998, letter of former President Joseph Estrada.
But the COA pointed out that Estrada’s letter only pertained to allowances for the years 1997 and 1998 and not for the subsequent years.