Belmonte: I refused my GSIS bonuses in 80s

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2014 09:03 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2014 05:03 AM

House Speaker backs probe on GOCC bonuses

MANILA - House Speaker Sonny Belmonte on Monday said he supports a congressional investigation into the bonuses of executives of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).

Belmonte wants the matter investigated to establish the basis of the allowances, as well as the reasons of the Commission on Audit (COA) for questioning the bonuses.

"I'm not aware of any guidelines on this. Even during our time, Malacanang used to give us some guidelines on how to go about it, when I was president of GSIS [Government Service Insurance System]," he said.

"I thought, solved problem when we created that government agency [Governance Commission for GOCCs] to oversee the stipends and bonuses of government agencies," Belmonte said. "All I'm gonna say is, what's reasonable, what's allowable, who'll determine all of these. Those are the questions that need to be answered."

"How do we know these are unauthorized? What are the rules on it? If we find out, everybody for himself, we can always come out with guidelines," he added.

Belmonte said that as GSIS representative to San Miguel Corporation's board in the 80s, he refused his allowances.

"When I was president of GSIS I happened also to be a director of San Miguel and the monthly stipend was P10,000. Come December, they gave me a check worth several million. Iyun daw ang Christmas bonus ng mga director. It caught me flabbergasted. I told them to change payee to GSIS. That's the money of GSIS, not money for Sonny Belmonte."

Lawmakers from the left-wing Makabayan bloc has pressed the lower chamber of Congress to probe the matter.

In 2011, Congress enacted a law that created the Governance Commission for GOCCs, which was meant to address the matter of excessive perks.