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DOJ OPINION NO. 132 , s.

1974
6th Indorsement
August 26, 1974

Respectfully returned to the Acting Commissioner of Civil Service, Quezon City,


the within inquiry on whether the payment of "incentive allowances and bonuses" by
rural banks and by the Philippine National Bank to farm management technicians of the
Bureau of Agricultural Extension and the Bureau of Plant Industry violates Presidential
Decree No. 46.
The cited decree makes it punishable:
"for any public official or employee, whether of the national or local governments,
to receive, directly or indirectly, and for private persons to give, or offer to give, any
gift, present or other valuable thing on any occasion, including Christmas, when
such gift, present or other valuable thing is given by reason of his official position,
regardless of whether or not the same is for past favor or favors or the giver
hopes or expects to receive a favor or better treatment in the future from the
public official or employee concerned in the discharge of his official functions . .
." (Emphasis supplied.)

It is stated that the payment to the above-mentioned technicians of an "incentive


allowance" of P1.00 a month for four months per farmer-borrower assisted and a
"bonus" of P3.00 for every farmer-borrower accompanied back to the bank to pay his
loan, during harvest time, is pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding dated May
31, 1972 among the Bureau of Agricultural Extension, the Bureau of Plant Industry, the
Central Bank, the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines and the National Food
and Agricultural Council, approved by the then Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources.
I do not think that the allowance and bonus in question fall within the intendment
of P.D. No. 46.
As I see it, this decree is primarily intended to curb the then prevalent practice of
gift-giving to public o cials for past favors or in expectation of future favors, on
occasions calling for, or associated with, the act of giving gifts, such as birthdays or
weddings, anniversaries, or other celebrations — in other words, gifts in their common
or ordinary signi cation. This is evident in the use of the phrase, "including Christmas"
both in the body and in the title of the decree, to illustrate the occasion for the giving. In
this sense, I do not think that the allowances or bonuses in question can, by their very
nature, be placed in the same category as the gifts contemplated in P.D. No. 46. LexLib

The P1-allowance and P3-bonus are paid only when the farm management
technician has assisted a farmer secure a loan from the PNB or a rural bank and/or pay
the same. Accordingly they partake of the nature of compensation for services
rendered.
Therefore, I am of the opinion that the query may be, as it is hereby, answered in
the negatives.

(SGD.) VICENTE ABAD SANTOS


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Secretary of Justice

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