FAQs on SALN

Published May 19, 2021, 8:04 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

As the deadline for filing of the 2020 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) has been extended until May 30, 2021, here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the SALN:

SALN Form (Civil Service Commission)

In late April, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) announced the extension of the April 30 SALN filing deadline. It promulgated Resolution No. 2100339 containing guidelines for the filing and submission of 2020 SALNs during exceptional circumstances, or when the country is placed under a state of calamity and/or emergency.

https://mb.com.ph/2021/04/30/csc-extends-filing-of-saln-until-may-30/

The SALN is the disclosure of financial connections or business interests and identification of relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity, the CSC said.

“Further, it also requires the declarant to name his/her bilas, balae and inso who are in government service,” it said.

Citing the Supreme Court en banc’s ruling on August 28, 2019, the Commission said the SALN’s purpose “is promote transparency in the civil service and to establish a deterrent against government officials bent on enriching themselves through unlawful means.”

Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, governs the filing of the SALN form.

The CSC said the currently prescribed form is the one revised as of January 2015 as provided by its Resolution No. 1500088 promulgated on Jan. 23, 2015.

Special Features of the SALN Form:

-There is a portion where spouses who are both government employees may indicate whether they are filing jointly or separately.

-In the declaration of real properties, the form requires the exact location of the property.

-The form clarifies that the Assessed Value and the Current Fair Market Value should be based on what is stated in the Tax Declaration of Real Property.

-Several portions of the previous form have been removed like the amount and sources of gross income, amount of personal and family expenses and amount of income taxes paid, all of which were required to be declared under Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft Corrupt Practices Act).

-The declaration of nature of real properties is no longer required.

-The subcategories (tangible, intangible) under personal properties were removed.

-In the present form, the identification of relatives is required to be ‘to the best of my knowledge’. All other declarations are required to be ‘true and detailed.’

Who are exempted from filing the SALN Form?

-Those serving in honorary capacity—persons who are working in the government without service credit and without pay.

-Those whose position title is laborer – persons whose work depends on mere physical power to perform ordinary manual labor, and not one engaged in services consisting mainly of work requiring mental skill or business capacity, and involving the exercise of intellectual faculties.

-Those who are casual or temporary workers – persons hired to do work outside what is considered necessary for the usual operations of the employer’s business.

When should the SALN be filed?

The SALN should be filed:

-within 30 days after assumption of office, statements of which must be reckoned as of his/her first day of service;

– on or before April 30 of every year thereafter, statements of which must be reckoned as of the end of the preceding year; or

– within 30 days after separation from the service, statements of which must be reckoned as of his last day of office.

Modes of filing/deadlines

Are alternative means of filing/submitting the SALN (e.g., electronic, via courier) allowed?

The Commission has promulgated CSC Resolution No. 2100339 on April 12, 2021, which provides the guidelines for online oath-taking of the SALN, the use of electronic/digital signature in the accomplishment of the SALN, and the electronic filing and submission of the SALN during exceptional circumstances per the coverage of the said policy. As to filing through private couriers or by snail mail, such is compliant with the physical filing of the SALN.

How come there are two deadlines, April 30 and June 30?

The April 30 deadline is for every public official/employee to submit his/her SALN to the Head of Agency or whomever is officially designated to receive SALN submission within the agency.

The June 30 deadline is for the Chief/Head of the Personnel/Administrative Division or Unit/Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) to transmit all original copies of the SALNs received to the appropriate repository agency.

Filing of SALN and Declarant Information

In case declarant spouses are both in the government service, how should they file their SALN jointly? And who should be the declarant between the two of them?

In case of joint filing of husband and wife who are both in the government service, both of them shall be considered declarants. The signature portion of the SALN indicates the space for the spouse as “Spouse/Co-declarant.” All real and personal properties shall be declared including their respective paraphernal and capital properties, if there are any. After filling out the form, the spouses may reproduce the SALN Form as the number of copies is required, but their signatures should be original in the SALN Form to be submitted to their respective agencies.

If the declarant’s spouse is not in the government service, or if the declarant is unmarried, what box should the declarant tick off in the top portion of the SALN referring to joint or separate filing of the SALN Form?

The declarant shall tick off the box marked as “Not applicable.”

In the case of uniformed personnel, what should they indicate in the space requiring the position? Is it the rank or the designation?

Uniformed personnel are appointed to rank, thus, they should indicate their rank in the blank space for position.

What is the meaning of ‘living in declarant’s household’?

Actual presence in the residence of the declarant.

Are children who are supported by the declarant but living outside the household due to studies included in the declaration?

Yes, it includes dependent children who are temporarily staying apart from the declarant’s household

due to studies.

Declaration of Real and Personal Properties

What is the assessed value and current fair market value?

For purposes of the SALN, the amounts found in the tax declaration of real properties shall be used as the basis for the declaration.

Is it necessary that the fair market value and assessed value of real properties come from the Assessor’s Office of the municipality/city where the property is registered?

Yes.

How can the assessed value and current fair market value of the property be declared if there is no tax declaration?

The declarant may indicate “not applicable” or N/A.

How do we declare inherited properties?

Inherited properties are transferred to the heirs by operation of law. Hence, even without a transfer of the property under the name of the declarant, the latter shall declare his/her share in the inherited properties as his/her assets. For the acquisition cost, the declarant shall state zero. For real properties inherited, the declarant is required to provide the assessed value and current fair market value found in the tax declaration of the real properties concerned.

How should land assets inherited from grandparents be declared?

Real property acquired gratuitously shall be declared under real property and the acquisition cost shall be zero.

How does an employee declare a co-owned property?

The declarant shall only declare that portion allotted to him over the co-owned property.

Is there a ceiling on the price of property that we declare?

R.A. No. 6713 does not provide for a ceiling on properties to be declared.

Declaration of Liabilities

How should credit card liabilities be declared?

The outstanding balance as of 31 December of the preceding year shall be declared.

Do we need to declare personal loans and the names of the creditors?

Yes, it shall be declared under liabilities.

In the case of insurance policies, if the declarant has indicated the amount already paid as personal property, should the remaining balance be included under liabilities?

If the insurance policy has a cash value, as in the case of variable life insurance, the balance shall be declared as liability.

Should water and electric bills, tuition fees, fare, and hospitalization costs be included under liabilities?

Yes, if it remains outstanding as of 31 December. But as to fare, no.

Is it okay if the net worth turns out to be negative, especially if the sum value of liabilities are greater than the sum value of assets?

Yes, as long as it is the true and honest declaration of your liabilities.

Declaration of Business Interests and Financial Connections

How do I distinguish between financial connection and business interest?

Business interests refer to declarant’s existing interest in any business enterprise or entity, aside from his/her income from government, while financial connections refer to declarant’s existing connections with any business enterprise or entity, whether as a consultant, adviser and the like, with an expectation of remuneration for services rendered.

If the declarant owned a business which already closed prior to filing of SALN, should that business be declared?

All of the declarant’s business interests and financial connections that existed as of the end of the year being reported should be reflected in the SALN.

Relatives by Affinity, Consangunity, Plus Inso, Balae, Bilas

What is the extent of the fourth civil degree of affinity and consanguinity?

Relatives in the first degree of consanguinity include the declarant’s father, mother, son and daughter. Relatives in the first degree of affinity include the declarant’s father-in-law and mother-in-law. Relatives in the second degree of consanguinity include the declarant’s brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, grandson and granddaughter.

Relatives in the second degree of affinity include the declarant’s brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandmother-in-law, grandfather-in-law, granddaughter-in- law and grandson-in-law. Relatives in the third degree of consanguinity include the declarant’s nephew, niece, uncle and aunt. Relatives in the third degree of affinity include declarant’s nephew-in-law, niece-in-law, uncle-in-law, auntie-in-law. Relatives in the fourth degree of consanguinity include the declarant’s first cousin.

Why do I need to declare inso, balae and bilas?

It is required by the implementing rules of RA No. 6713, and it is included in the definition of relatives in the government under RA No. 6713.

Should elected government officials be declared as relatives?

Elected officials are considered to be part of the non-career service. Thus, they are included in the declaration of relatives. The same applies to public officials and employees holding temporary, coterminous, contractual, and casual appointments.

Issues Pertaining to the Ombudsman and other Agencies

Can the Office of the Ombudsman look into my bank accounts in private banks by virtue of the authorization in the SALN?

The Ombudsman is authorized to obtain and secure from all appropriate government agencies, including the Bureau of Internal Revenue such documents that may show the declarant’s assets, liabilities, net worth, business interests and financial connections.

Can the Office of the Ombudsman look into my bank accounts in private banks by virtue of the authorization in the SALN?

No, the authorization refers only to government agencies.

How about government banks which may be considered as “appropriate government agencies”, are they also covered by the authority given to the Ombudsman?

No, banks, whether government or not, are covered by a special law (Secrecy of Bank Deposit Act [RA No. 1405]), hence, they are not included in the authorization.

Can the public request for a copy of the SALN Form of a government official/ employee?

Yes, as long as they comply with the rules governing access to SALNs provided by the repository agencies.

The CSC prepared a 18-page briefer or compilation of FAQs on the SALN, “which aims to capture the most common questions asked by government workers and the public on the filling out and filing the SALN.”

“These questions are gathered from client queries received by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) through phone call, email, and comments on its social media accounts,” it said.

 
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