Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is Number One in the list of biggest spenders in the House of Representatives for 2017, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
Based on the COA’s itemized list of amounts paid to and expenses incurred by lawmakers, Davao del Norte First District Rep. Alvarez, spent ₱43.7 million on his second year as Speaker, ₱30.4 million of which went to office consultants.
The amount does not include the discretionary fund of the Office of the House Speaker which could run into billions of pesos.
The House last year dropped from its payroll contractual employees connected with the office of Alvarez, who is seeking reelection in the May mid-term election.
In a memorandum on July 30, 2018 , Director II Evelyn de Jesus of the Human Resource Management Service of the House ordered the House Accounting Services to delete a list of 42 contractual employees assigned at the office of the Speaker effective August 2018.
The memorandum came just days after Alvarez was replaced on July 24, 2018 as House Speaker by Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Sources at the House of Representatives revealed that the list did not include at least 121 consultants receiving monthly compensation from P20,000 to P50,000.
The list of contractual employees and consultants were included on the payroll beginning on July 16, 2016.
Last year, the list of consultants and contractual employees was made public. In the list were radio broadcasters based in Davao del Norte.
The list of contractual workers included Rommel Pastoral, a broadcaster who engages in the racket of selling in his radio program purportedly winning numbers in the Philippine lottery, with a salary of P50,000 a month.
Also in the list is Ruel Dagsangan, who receives a monthly stipend of P50,000. Radioman Dagsangan works as a regular employee of the Tagum City-based DXDN Radyo Ukay of the University of Mindanao.
The radio broadcasters in the payroll of the office of Alvarez, based on their broadcast, are identified in Davao del Norte as belonging to the “media bureau’ of the former Speaker.
With a total estimated monthly compensation of P1,082,000, the contractual employees were paid an estimated total of P12,984,012 after two two years.
Three lawmakers from Mindanao, two from Davao Region and one from North Cotabato, are in the list of the biggest spenders.
Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Representative Jericho Nograles followed Alvarez in the list with a total of ₱23.4 million expenses that year.
A third Mindanaoan solon is in the top five — North Cotabato Representative Nancy Catamco with her 2017 expenditures reaching ₱20.62 million.
Kalinga congressman Allen Jesse Mangaoang is on third with ₱22 million, followed by former DIWA Party-list Representative and now Department of Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar with ₱20.5 million.