Aquino signs GOCC law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2011 12:00 PM | Updated as of Jun 07 2011 06:59 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino on Monday signed into law the GOCC Governance Act of 2011, which provides for the rationalization of salaries and benefits of officials and employees of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).

In a statement, the President said bloated salaries of top GOCC officials lead to the unwieldiness of such institutions.

"Worse, it contributes to a culture of political transactionalism, deeming such positions as mere political currency—to be granted based on expediency and proximity to those in power, rather than on character and competence. This bill effectively paves the way for wider-ranging reforms in our public corporations," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

The President thanked several lawmakers for urging Congress to pass the bill. They are Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen. Franklin Drilon and Cavite Rep. Joseph Abaya.

Drilon said the bill creates a Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) which shall be composed of five members—chairman with the rank of Cabinet secretary and two members with the rank of undersecretary to be appointed by the President—and the Budget and Finance secretaries as ex-officio members. The commission shall develop a new position and classification system that will apply to all officers and employees of GOCCs, whether covered by the Salary Standardization Law or exempt from it.
 
Members of the board of directors or trustees and officers of state firms have the legal obligation to act in good faith in all the dealings with the property and monies of the GOCC. Any board member or officer found to have benefited from the GOCC excess benefit or profit shall be subject to restitution without prejudice to any administrative, civil or criminal case.
 
Drilon expects the law to become effective 15 days after its publication or by July 1, 2011.