DAVAO CITY, Philippines—In a bid to assist government employees facing charges before the courts, the national government allocated a fund amounting to P200 million, according to Department of Budget and Management.

DBM, in a statement Thursday, said the Legal Defense Fund is under the Miscellaneous Personnel Services Benefits Fund of the Fiscal Year 2017 General Appropriations Act.

“The LDF is intended to promote the welfare and extend assistance to government personnel who, in the performance of their official functions, may face administrative, civil, or criminal charges before courts, for which they incur actual expenses, including payment of premiums for posting of bail bonds and cash advance for expenses incurred in the defense of their cases,” the budget department said.

It can be recalled that DBM issued a National Budget Circular No. 566 back in Dec. 15 last year which prescribes the guidelines in the use of the LDF, including the establishment of the appropriate organizational and procedural set-up for its release and utilization.

In the said circular, government employees who would like to claim LDF must be an incumbent, separated, or retired government employee with plantilla position.

“The authorized legal expenses that may be charged against the LDF include those incurred during the year and are limited to the amounts provided in NBC No. 566,” DBM said.

The LDF covers only the legal expenses, namely: bail bond, transportation expenses, photocopying expenses and acceptance, appearance, and other fees charged by the claimant’s counsel, whether private or government legal counsel.

“The release of the funds is subject to the favorable endorsement by each line department’s LDF Claims Board. The eligibility of the claimants and the expenses, as well as the amounts to be charged against the LDF, will also be determined by the LDF Claims Board,” according to DBM.

DBM added that “LDF may also be used for the legal assistance of Bids and Awards Committee members and their support staff.” (davaotoday.com)

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