'Confidential expenses': Palace spending in Philippines doubled in 2012

'Confidential expenses': Palace spending in Philippines doubled in 2012

MANILA, Philippines - The expenses incurred by the Office of the President (OP) almost doubled to P2.2 billion (S$62 million) in 2012, from the P1.1 billion spent the year before, according to the latest Commission on Audit (COA) report on the office.

Maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) accounted for P1.67 billion of the amount spent in the period reported, up from the P629.75 million in 2011, the COA said.

"Confidential expenses" got the lion's share of the MOOE with P638 million. No amount was allocated for this item in 2011.

Of the confidential expenses, P500 million was used and the difference of P138 million should have been posted by management as "liquidations" for 2011, the COA said.

Also under MOOE, P264.107 million was spent for "repair and maintenance-aircraft and aircraft ground equipment," against the P53.94 million spent in 2011 for the same purpose.

But the increase was supported by a memorandum of agreement between the OP and the Philippine Air Force, the COA said.

Foreign travel expenses went up to P147.24 million in 2012, from only P84.41 million the year before, while representation expenses grew twice as big, from P30.6 million in 2011 to P67.38 million.

Personal services accounted for P540.684 million of the OP's expenses, up by P36.35 million from P504.33 million, while salaries for regular and contractual employees reached P361.48 million, up by P55 million from P305.13 million.

Other bonuses

"Other bonuses and allowances" almost tripled to P10.92 million, from P3.23 million in 2011, while "yearend bonuses" slightly increased to P31.58 million, from P27.03 million.

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