Teachers to return 2015, 2016 COLA
With the disallowance by the Commission on Audit (COA) of the Cost of Living Allowance (Cola) for public school teachers in Cebu City, many of them may not receive all or part of the Teacher’s Cash Assistance Program, which is given to them by the city yearly.
Cebu City Councilor Joy Augustus Young said COA had already sent a notice of disallowance to officials of the previous administration.
“When they (COA) suspend it, that means you stop giving it and you justify ngano naghatag man ka ana ( why you are giving it) and if you’re not able to justify it, it would become a notice of disallowance,” he told the reporters yesterday.
Young said the COLA was disallowed since it is already incorporated in the basic pay of all government employees receiving a regular salary.
COA disallowed the P18,000 COLA since 2015, which is the maximum amount a teacher may receive from the city, or P2,000 per month for January to March and June to November.
Section 6 of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Circular No. 2001-03 was cited by COA, which unauthorized the release of COLA to public school teachers in 2015.
But Young said some teachers were still processing their COLA that year.
“I don’t know why they were still releasing it in 2015. Supposed to be gi-inform naman sa COA nga on 2015, dili na allowed morelease but despite that, sige gihapon silag process (They were supposed to have been informed that the Cola would no longer be allowed but despite that they still continued to process the payment),” he said.
Young clarified that after they received the notice of disallowance, the city made an ordinance for another cash assistance for teachers amounting to P10,000, called the Teacher’s Cash Assistance Program to be given once a year.
“This ordinance is not a COLA, it has a title of its own, it’s a law, aron ma justify nato nganong ihatag nato ang P10,000 once a year sa kada teacher (to justify why we give P10,000 each year to every teacher),” he said.
The city will deduct a certain amount from the P10,000 cash assistance to settle the disallowance amount, Young said.
Teachers who will still remain in service for the next two years will still receive their assistance this year, but starting next year, P5,000 will be deducted from the P10,000 cash assistance.
Young said settlement of the disallowance will be done on installment: P5,000 for the first three consecutive years and P3,000 on the fourth year.
But teachers who are retiring this year or next year will no longer be given their P10,000 assistance as the amount will answer for the disallowance.
Last month the notice of disallowance was sent to the office of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, and a copy was also sent to the City Accountant Arlene Rentuza, Councilor Young, and to Cebu City Schools Division and Superintendent Dr. Bianito Dagatan.
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