House bill seeks to limit GOCC perks

By Jess Diaz, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 17 2014 02:09 AM | Updated as of Jan 17 2014 10:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Amid reports of hefty bonuses in state corporations, a bill was filed yesterday, seeking to limit the total amount of allowances, bonuses and incentives for officers of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone filed Bill 3683, which seeks to put a cap on perks being enjoyed by GOCC trustees, directors and officers.

He said GOCC executives should not expect to make millions in emoluments because they are holding public office.

“Since the primordial consideration in the establishment of GOCCs is public service and the general welfare, it becomes imperative for persons appointed to carry out the tasks of GOCCs to be always mindful of that purpose. The office they hold is verily a public service office,” he said.

He noted that just this week, the Commission on Audit has asked officers of 31 state corporations to return more than P2 billion in unauthorized allowances and bonuses that they received in previous years.

There has also been public outrage over the decisions of more than 20 GOCCs to grant their trustees, directors, officers, and personnel performance incentives amounting to billions of pesos for 2012, Evardone said.

He said trustees of the Social Security System received about P10 million, while PhilHealth directors, officers and personnel were given P1.5 billion.

Bill 3683 would amend Republic Act No. 10149, otherwise known as the GOCC Governance Act of 2011.

Under the measure, no person appointed to a GOCC would serve for more than 24 months, including reappointment and in holdover capacity. A GOCC trustee or director may, however, be appointed to another state firm.

For every 12 months of service, an appointee would receive allowances, incentives and bonuses equivalent to not more than twice the amount of per diem authorized under Executive Order No. 24, Series of 2011, which President Aquino issued pursuant to the GOCC governance law.

In case there is an excess amount, the GOCC appointee would be obligated to return it to the national treasury.

In case the appointee holds two or more GOCC posts, he would be entitled to the highest amount of per diem as his total perks and compensation.

The Office of the President would be mandated to issue implementing rules and regulations.

Under Executive Order No. 24, Aquino categorized GOCCs into A, B, C, D and E depending on their assets and revenues, and prescribed the amount of per diem for each group.

Assets ranged from P1 billion to P100 billion, and revenues from P100 million to P10 billion.

The amount of per diem for every board meeting actually attended varies from P5,000 to P40,000, for a maximum of P120,000 to P960,000 per year.

For every committee meeting attended, the per diem ranges from P3,000 to P24,000, for a maximum of P72,000 to P576,000 per year.

This means that a Class A GOCC appointee can receive as much as P960,000 in per diem for board meetings, plus P576,000 for committee meetings, for a total of P1,536,000 for one year. – With Mayen Jaymalin