Opinion2000-08 Double Compensation

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Double Compensation
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  Republic of the Philippines Department of the Interior and Local Government CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION Barangay Center, Baguio City DILG-CAR OPINION NO. 00-08 Series of 2000. TEMPORARY VACANCY IN THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDING OFFICER OF A SANGGUNIAN; DOUBLE COMPENSATION   -QUERIES- 1. Whether or not a Vice Mayor, being the presiding officer of the sanggunian, may be charged administratively for not attending/presiding for four to six consecutive regular sessions although he was on official travel? 2. Whether or not an Officer-in-Charge in the Office of the Vice Mayor may automatically preside in a regular session? and 3. What is the meaning of the word “DOUBLE COMPENSATION” as applied in the government service? -OPINION- On the first query, you stated clearly that the Vice Mayor “was on official travel” during those “four to six consecutive regular sessions” in which he did not attend and/or preside. Since you did not distinguish or elaborate on whether or not such official travel applies to all those dates of “non-attendance/absences”, may we assume that the Vice Mayor was absent during all those times since he was on official travel. Under this assumption therefore, there is no ground to support an administrative charge, or any charge whatsoever, unless there are other attendant circumstances concerning the matter. At this juncture, pending any other circumstances/assumptions that may hereafter be raised, may we decline to discuss further on the issue. On the second query, may we state that the primary recourse will be on the provisions of the concerned sanggunian’s Internal Rules of Procedure (IRP). The temporary presiding officer shall be chosen according to the provisions of their IRP – usually providing for a “hierarchy” of presiding officers. In the absence of any provision in the sanggunian’s IRP concerning such matter, the provision enunciated under Sec. 49 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160) shall apply, to quote so far as it is pertinent:  “Sec. 49. Presiding Officer. – x x x. (b) In the event of the inability of the regular presiding officer to preside at a sanggunian session, the members present and constituting a quorum shall elect from among themselves   a temporary presiding officer. x x x.” (emphasis supplied) It is clear from the aforequoted provision that in case of the inability of the presiding officer to preside, or simply put, in case the presiding officer is absent, the sanggunian members present, there being a quorum, shall elect from among themselves a temporary presiding officer. In no case therefore shall an OIC Vice Mayor preside in the absence of the Vice Mayor unless he is chosen as the temporary presiding officer in accordance with the aforequoted provision, presupposing that such OIC is a member of the sanggunian. On the third query, you mentioned that the Municipal Budget Officer “disallowed your increase in honoraria as Barangay Captain” on the ground that you are receiving salary from the municipality (presumably in your capacity as ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Bayan). May we opine that, in this instance, there is no double compensation. Double compensation, as contemplated under the Code, is the act of receiving remuneration from two (2) or more incompatible offices and/or positions by an elective or appointive local official or employee. This proscription is upheld under Sec. 95 of the Code, to quote so far as pertinent:   “ Sec. 95. Additional or Double Compensation . _ No elective or appointive local official or employee shall receive additional, double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically authorized by law x x x.” It is clear that additional or double compensation is prohibited unless authorized by law. In the case at bar, your being the President of the Liga ng mga Barangay   entitles you to sit as an ex-officio member of the sangguniang bayan. This is specifically authorized by law as mandated by Sec. 494 of the Code, by virtue of which, you are entitled to receive both your honoraria as punong barangay and your compensation as ex-officio member of the sangguniang bayan, (Sec. 446(a) in relation to Sec. 447(b) of the Code). We hope to have enlightened you on the matters at issue. Our opinion, however, is without prejudice to an opinion from a higher body or to a ruling from a competent tribunal.  __________________ Opinion rendered on 14 February 2000 to HON. PATRICK O. RAFAEL, ABC President, Paracelis, Mountain Province. Prepared By: Reviewed By:  ATTY. EUGENE M. BALITANG PATRICK D. ONUS Regional Legal Counsel Assistant Regional Director  Approved: EVERDINA ECHALAR-DOCTOR Regional Director  /opinion 00-08
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