By Benjamin Pulta

Supreme Court (Facebook photo)

MANILA – The Supreme Court has affirmed the state auditors’ ruling that held Peter Favila, a member of the Monetary Board, liable for PHP4.539 million in disallowed bonuses granted to board members of the Trade and Investment Development Corp. (Tidcorp) while he was serving as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary.

The decision made public this week ruled Favila is solidarily liable as approving officer and recipient.

He was directed to settle the amount representing disallowed productivity enhancement pay, developmental contribution bonuses, grocery subsidy and anniversary bonuses paid between 2005 and 2010.

In 2012, the Commission on Audit (COA) issued a notice of disallowance (ND) on the disbursement vouchers and the corresponding checks for Tidcorp’s board of directors, which included Favila.

The COA said the disallowed amount constitutes double compensation.

In 2015, the COA Corporate Government Sector affirmed the ND as Tidcorp board members who held their positions in ex-officio capacity had no right to receive additional compensation since their compensation were already paid by their respective principal offices to which they were attached, except for a PHP500 per diem for every board meeting attended.

“In fine, without the prior approval of the President and being in clear circumvention of law and the Constitution, the questioned allowances are deemed illegal,” the court said.

In 2020, COA junked the motion for reconsideration filed by Favila who sought for a reversal of the ruling.

Favila argued that he received the benefit and allowances in good faith, noting that the extra compensation was authorized by a board resolution and the Tidcorp Charter.

Tidcorp, designated as the Philippine export-import credit agency in 2002 by virtue of Executive Order No. 85, is mandated to stimulate, increase and develop the export of goods and services, and to facilitate investment in strategic sectors for the country’s development by extending guarantees, insurance, credit and related technical assistance to viable enterprises. (PNA)