Senate okays resolution urging P-Noy to suspend fat bonuses of GOCCs, GFIs

September 2, 2010 11:26 am 

MANILA, Sept. 1 — The Senate formally approved on Wednesday a resolution urging President Benigno S. Aquino III to immediately order suspension of the unusually large and apparent excessive allowances, bonuses, incentives and other perks of members of the boards of the government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs).

Introduced by Senate finance committee chair Senator Franklin Drilon, Senate Resolution No. 17 was unanimously approved, asking that the “directors’ fees, bonuses, stock options, allowances and other benefits of the representatives of the GOCCs and GFIs in the governing boards and subsidiaries where the said GOCCs and GFIs have investments or outstanding loans be turned over to the concerned GOCCs and GFIs.”

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said all senators present were named co-authors of the resolution.

In his resolution, Drilon said the Senate Committee on Finance and the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises have been conducting a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the “alleged excessive and unwarranted salaries, allowances, bonuses, other emoluments and perks of top officials and board members” of GOCCs and GFIs.

In the course of the inquiry, Drilon noted the committees have found that officials and governing boards of various GOCCs and GFIs, such as the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS), Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System (SSS), the Development Bank of the Philippines and Clark Development Authority, among others, “have been granting themselves unwarranted allowances, bonuses, incentives, stock options and other benefits.”

“Among the irregular and abusive practices uncovered during the inquiry are: (a) the representatives of the Social Security Commission to the Board of Directors of Philex Mining earned, in addition to their bonuses, some P55 million by way of stock options;

(b) three SSC representatives in the Board of Directors of the Union Bank earned P46 million in bonuses, or around P15 million each; <br>(c) the MWSS, despite incurring a loss of P3.5 billion in 2008, declared a bonus of P5 million to its board members in 2009 and granted 25 bonuses in one year; and <br>(d) GOCCs have failed to comply with the requirement of R.A. No. 7656 to remit 50 percent of its net earnings to the national government,” the resolution said.

Overwhelmed by such revelations, senators expressed “their deep concern over the excessive, immoral and abusive grant of salaries and bonuses by the governing Board of GOCCs as well as GFIs and will propose and enact a legislative measure that will curb the prevailing practices of the Board of Directors/Trustees of giving exorbitant compensation, bonuses and allowances to themselves.”

“If the respective Boards of these GOCCs and GFIs would be allowed to continue to grant such bonuses to themselves, the damage to these corporations and institutions would be irreparable and would further erode government revenues,” the resolution further noted.

According to the resolution, the Senate shares a united stand to urgently request the President, who under the Administrative Code has broad power of control over the GOCCs and GFIs, to suspend the excessive bonuses of the Board of Directors/Trustees of GOCCs and GFIs.

The resolution noted that unlike management officials who run the day-to-day affairs of the GOCCs and GFIs, the members of the governing boards usually just attend board meetings for which they receive huge allowances, bonuses and other forms of compensation.

”Some of them sit as board directors in private corporations representing their agencies’ interest or investment therein, and for which they receive directors’ fees, bonuses, stock options and other financial benefits which give unwarranted benefit to themselves to the tune of millions of pesos, which should reasonably go to the agency that they represent,” the resolution said.

The resolution said that there were also GOCCs and GFIs that continue to defy the disallowances made by the Commission on Audit on such excessive bonuses and allowances.

The Senate resolution noted that it was the President himself, in his first State of the Nation Address, disclosed the excessive compensation and benefit package the officers and employees of MWSS are receiving and that each member of the Board receives roughly P2.5-M in compensation and benefits per year, to the prejudice of the retirees’ pension payments.

Earlier, Drilon urged President Aquino to exercise his broad, power of control over the executive branch to suspend these bonuses of the board of directors or the trustees of the GOCCs pending a passage of a law that will better govern and regulate the compensation package of the board of directors and the executives of the GOCCs.

Drilon said the proposed suspension of bonuses and other excessive perks would only cover the board of directors or trustees and will not affect the salaries and allowances of the management and rank and file of the corporations. (PNA)<br> vcs/jfm


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