THE Office of the Vice Rector for Finance (OVRF) and professors from the Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) have agreed on the return of excess thesis honoraria paid last year due to computation errors.

After discussions with affected faculty members on Feb. 1, the OVRF agreed to 24-month and 36-month repayments for those whose excess pay amounted to five digits.

This will be longer than the original reimbursement methods, which allowed only staggered payments over three months, six months, or a year.

Excess pay may also be deducted from the faculty member’s 13th-month pay, Christmas bonus, cash conversion of sick leave, or from their honorarium during the next colloquium or defense period, instead of the originally proposed deduction from retirement pay.

Some 120 Artlets faculty members were affected by the error in payroll computation.

Assoc. Prof. Rene Tadle, president of the Arts and Letters Faculty Union (ALFA), said the dialogue also provided a venue for a conversation on other issues faced by the faculty members. 

“As agreed in our dialogue with the UST officials, the good news is that more repayment alternatives were provided as compared to the previous options, making it more convenient and economically less burdensome for faculty members to pay back the overpayment,” Tadle told the Varsitarian. “Faculty members will hopefully appreciate the resolution of the issue.” 

During the dialogue, faculty members raised an “equally important issue” with the OVRF — automatic salary deductions due to miscalculations without prior notification to the faculty, Tadle said.

By law, only taxes and contributions, such as those to the Pag-IBIG Fund, PhilHealth, and the Social Security System, can be automatically deducted from a worker’s wages.

In December 2023, the OVRF informed the affected Artlets faculty members about the wrong computation of their thesis honoraria for the first term of Academic Year 2022-2023.

Thesis supervisors were incorrectly given P1,400 per student, double the correct amount of P700, while colloquium panelists received an overpayment of P1,750 per student instead of the correct P1,050.

Finance office to hold dialogues with Artlets profs over thesis pay

Deductions were scheduled to commence on Jan. 15 but were postponed following ALFA’s request for a dialogue.

To prevent computation errors, the OVRF agreed to changes to the calculation process for thesis honoraria, Tadle said. 

“A procedural change will occur to prevent such incidents’ recurrence: The Office of the Dean (Artlets) will now determine and prepare the request for payment for those eligible to receive the amount. This process will undergo further checks and validation by the accounting office,” he said.

The OVRF plans to start deductions under the new repayment methods by April 15.


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