Aquino richer by P1.3M in 2013

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 02 2014 06:35 PM | Updated as of May 03 2014 09:02 AM

MANILA - President Aquino is richer by P1.3 million in 2013, according to his latest statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) which he filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The President personally admitted the increase in his net worth during an ambush interview in Tagbilaran, Bohol. His 2012 net worth is P65.13 million.

Aquino said the increase came from interest income.

"Number one, nag-divest ako from all the other interest. Tapos to a large degree parang sa expenses iyong kunyari iyong damit ko, iyong mga ganun, ano. Sila ang nagha-handle to be liquidated with them. Parang babayaran ko sila by the time that I recover full control of the assets that I have. So inabonohan muna nila to a large degree. So I expect my last SALN to have a mark reduction," he said.

The President also said he will not benefit in case a law is passed to increase the salaries of government employees.

Senator Antonio Trillanes has filed a bill to adjust state workers' salaries.

"Unang-una, iklaro ko lang, kapag sinuportahan ko iyon hindi ako kadamay doon sa increase ha. You cannot enact a law that will benefit you. So if that bill becomes a law, I signed it into law, I cannot benefit from it. Tapos iyong the members of Congress who will also authorize it are not also entitled until they finish their terms," Aquino said.

The President, however, remained non-committal about the bill. He said that while it is his dream to match the salaries of state employees with those in the private sector, any pay increase should be felt by all 1.6 million employees of the national government.

He said that before any pay increase, the national government should first pay its obligations to former government employees.

"Ang tinutukoy ko in particular iyong pension and benefits ng AFP at PNP na unfunded. Unfunded ibig sabihin sa budget kinukuha taun-taon. Ang sabi sa akin ni [Budget] Secretary [Butch] Abad ang latest figure para mabayaran na iyong mga obligasyon natin doon --- ay sorry, iyong seed capital pala --- seed capital to fund a pension system for them, ang kakailanganin natin P4.3 trillion, okay. The national budget is 2.6 trillion. So mas malaki pa iyong seed capital than the national budget," he said.

Aquino said he doesn't want to raise false hopes. He said he is also inclined to look at other incentives.

"For instance, as an example, iyong 50,000 plus housing natin for the AFP and the PNP. If we can expand that to everybody else di ba. If I can make a recall, between 3,000 to 5,000 na rin, papalitan ng 200 peso amortization na magpapaluwal ng 1,000 every 25th year. Iyon yata ang more long lasting at talagang kapakipakinabang at hindi pwedeng i-salary deduction iyong house. Iyong parang hindi maililipat iyong bahay kung kaninuman. Iyon parang baka doable," he said.