THE COMMISSION on Audit (CoA) flagged the National Police Commission (Napolcom) for providing allowances for dietary supplements to its employees without legal basis.

According to its 2018 audit report, CoA said Napolcom distributed P9,090,000 to its employees unlawfully and in violation of the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) Budget Circular No. 16.

The circular specifies that “all agencies are hereby prohibited from granting any food, rice, gift checks or any other form of incentives/allowances except those authorized via Administrative Order by the Office of the President.”

In the report, CoA noted that dietary supplement allowance was given both to regular employees as well as to contact and job order personnel.

“The grant of said allowance is without authority/legal basis to prove the validity of the payment,” CoA said.

The report also noted that Napolcom claimed in 2017 that the payment of dietary supplement allowances is in line with the agency’s preventive health care program.

However, the state auditors pointed out that under the Civil Service Commission Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 402 medical benefits are only limited to diagnostic procedures.

“It is very clear that the medical benefit extended under A.O. No. 402 is a limited benefit confined to a medical check-up program consisting of procedures that are strictly diagnostic. Nothing in A.O. No. 402 refers to a prescription drug benefits nor dietary supplement benefits,” CoA said.

CoA recommended that Napolcom “immediately stop the payment of dietary supplement allowance; and henceforth, refrain from paying any form of allowances unless legally authorized.” — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras