The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to probe the reported huge salaries and bonuses of top government officials, heads of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations and Government Financial Institutions.
Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes called the million peso worth of salaries and bonuses as scandalous saying that that this is contrary to the President’s promotion of simple living among public officials.
“These huge perks, bonuses and allowances from the previous administration stand in stark contrast to what is being promoted by the President. Some of the huge bonuses and perks can be described as obscene given situation of other social services. Some of the bonuses are scandalous considering that the government plans to raise taxes again,” said Reyes in a statement released to the media.
The Commission on Audit released its 2015 Report on Salaries and Allowances last Tuesday on its website. The report showed top earners from the national government include executives of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
BSP Governor Amado Tetangco is 2015’s top earner with P13.9 million followed by GSIS President Robert Vergara who earned P13.4 million. Third is Teresita Herbosa of the SEC who got paid P8.9 million for 2015.
For former President Benigno Aquino’s Cabinet members, former Health Secretary Janette Garin was the highest paid member last year with up to P2.52 million worth of salaries and bonuses in 2015. According to a report Garin received P1.08 million as basic salary, P408,037.31 in allowances, P235,000 in bonuses or incentives, P348,000 in discretionary funds, and P24,000 additional compensation or honorarium. As chair of the board of directors of the Philipines Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), she received P425,750
Next to Garin was Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and former Science Secretary Mario Montejo, who both received P2.166 million in salary, allowances, and other benefits in 2015.
Reyes also noted SSS president Emilio de Quiros who was the 11th highest paid official with a total of P8.2 million. For the SSS he received P6.57 million plus compensation as Board Member of the Philhealth.
“Former President Aquino vetoed a P2,000 pension hike saying there were not enough funds, yet his appointed officials at the SSS and other GOCC’s were being given high salaries and other perks. The new administration can now correct this inustice,” Reyes said.
Reyes also urged Duterte to review Executive Order 201 (salaries of national and local employees in government offices, state universities and colleges, armed forces and the police departments) and Executive Order 203 (salaries of government-owned and/or controlled corporations/government financial institutions or GOCCs/GFIs).
“The perks and bonuses for some officials are just too much. These should be stopped,” Reyes said.
COA’s list covered 8,311 officers and members of GOCCs and of their subsidiaries and by Cabinet members, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and other officials of equivalent rank of national government agencies.