MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld the decision of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which found a senior human resource analyst of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) liable for failure to liquidate cash advances on time.
In a 14-page decision written by Associate Justice Louis Acosta, the court said the CSC “did not err” when it imposed on Johanna Therese C. Lazaro the penalty of suspension from service for three months in 2019 for simple neglect of duty.
Lazaro was designated as the Special Disbursing Officer for a medical and dental mission in Ilijan, Batangas City on May 28, 2016, organized by the corporate social responsibility group of PSALM and the National Power Corporation (Napocor).
She was granted the authority to advance PHP500,000 for the said activity.
When she was issued a show cause order by the CSC for the belated liquidation, Lazaro said that at the time of the filing of the liquidation report on June 24 2016, she was prepared to surrender the excess cash advanced and it was in good faith that she submitted the documents.
She pointed out that she had to consolidate and collate reports from different groups since it was a major activity with participants from both PSALM and Napocor.
She claimed there was no intention on her part to delay the payment of the excess cash advanced or to delay completion of liquidation of documents.
“The mere fact that documents will have to be secured from elsewhere is not a sufficient reason to justify the failure to account for the cash advances within the periods prescribed,” the CA ruled.
It also implied “an omission or refusal on her part without sufficient cause, to perform her legal duties”. (PNA)
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