Money Talk

GOVERNMENT-SPEAK is bewildering enough for the layman, but when talks turn to money received by public servants, things can get even more confusing. To help taxpayers understand where some of their money is going, here are some definitions and descriptions of various allowances and benefits a government official may receive (plus related and governing laws, rules, and regulations authorizing the grant of such emoluments).

Basic pay
Includes all remunerations and earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered but does not include allowances and monetary benefits, which are not integrated as part of the regular basic pay such as cash equivalent of unused vacation/sick leave credits, overtime pay, premium pay, night differential, holiday pay, cost of living allowance, and profit-sharing payments. (P.D. No. 851)

Clothing/Uniform Allowance
Granted to qualified government personnel per Budget Circular No. 2003-8 and other regulations.

13th month pay
One twelfth (1/12) of the basic pay of an employee within a calendar year, paid before December 24 of every year pursuant to P.D. No. 851.

PRAISE incentives
Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) authorized under Civil Service Commission (CSC) Resolution No. 010112 and other issuances.

Token payments in recognition of services rendered beyond the regular duties and responsibilities of positions; form of compensation given as a token of appreciation or reward for gratuitous service on account of one's broad and superior knowledge/expertise in a specific field for which, going by tradition, custom or propriety, no fixed price is set. (Joint Resolution No. 4, 17 June 2009)

Bonus/Cash Gift
Mid-year and year-end bonuses/cash gifts and other incentives declared by the president, including those given by the agency.

Representation and Transportation Allowances (RATA)
Given to officials down to division chiefs at monthly standard rates in order to defray transportation and representation expenses while in the actual performance of the duties of the position. Transportation allowance shall not be given to those assigned government transportation. (Joint Resolution No. 4, 17 June 2009)

Per diems
Compensation granted to members of the Board of Directors/Trustees for attendance in Board/ExCom/Committee meetings.

Productivity incentives benefits
Based on individual productivity and performance as evaluated by the head of an agency in accordance with policies and standards set by the Civil Service Commission. (A.O. No. 16)

Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) incentives
CNA incentives authorized under Administrative Order No. 135, Budget Circular 2006-1 and other pertinent laws, rules, and regulations.

Subsistence allowance
This is an allowance for meal or sustenance given only to government personnel who, by the nature of the duties and responsibilities of their positions, have to make their services available at all times in their places of work even during mealtimes. (Joint Resolution No 4, 17 June 2009)

Laundry allowance
Provided under existing laws for personnel required to wear a prescribed uniform during office hours.

Quarters allowance
Granted to qualified government personnel per R.A. No. 7157 and other pertinent rules/regulations, which may cover the rental of quarters including utilities, telephone, and other maintenance expense.

Other allowances and benefits
Includes the following: a) Food Subsidy such as food or meal allowance, sugar, rice and other form of food allowances whether given in cash or in kind. For those allowances received in kind, management (accounting) should determine and report the money value thereof; b) Medical Benefit; such as medical, dental and optical allowances whether paid on a commutable or reimbursable basis; c) Dependent's allowance shall include children's allowance but exclude medical benefits given to dependents; and d) All other allowances and benefits not categorized under any of the above enumerated description.

Extraordinary and Miscellaneous Expenses (EME) (previously entitled Discretionary Fund)
Per GAA, the EME shall include, but shall not be limited to expenses incurred for: meetings seminars and conferences; official entertainment; public relations; educational athletic and cultural activities; contributions to civic or charitable institutions; membership in national professional organizations duly accredited by the Professional Regulations Commissions; membership in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; subscription to professional technical journals and informative magazines, library books and materials; Other similar expenses not supported by the regular budget allocation.

Source: Commission on Audit Memorandum No. 2012-005, April 20, 2012

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