Senate moves for reform plan for GOCCs to end reported abuses

By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, January 21, 2011-To end the reported abuses in government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), the Senate moved closer towards the approval of the proposed new legislation in advancing one of PNoy’s key policies in reforming and rationalizing the operations of state enterprises wherein the Senate Finance Committee chaired by Senator Franklin Drilon filed a committee report Tuesday to set up a wide ranging reform plan for GOCCs.


The said committee report was signed by Drilon, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senators Ralph Recto, Teofisto Guingona III, Edgardo Angara, Gregorio Honasan II, Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Manuel Villar, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Sergio Osmeña III, Pia Cayetano, Francis Pangilinan and Juan Miguel Zubiri which stated new responsible compensation packages for directors, trustees and employees of GOCCs will be established, under the Senate bill No. 2640 or the GOCC Governance Act of 2011.


Under the proposal, the Governing Commission for GOCCs that will be created should have delegated powers of Congress to reorganize the various boards and to set new compensation schemes for the directors and employees, subject to the President’s approval.


“This reform measure is a timely response to widespread criticism over the misuse of public funds by the directors, trustees and even employees of state-owned firms, saying that to put an end to the draining of government coffers the landmark legislation is part of the government broader effort. The Senate is expected to tackle the measure together with Drilon who eyed its sponsorship in the plenary next week.


All GOCC personnel shall be paid just and equitable wages, and generally comparable with those in the private sector, in accordance with the principle of equal pay for equal work. Differences in pay shall be based on verifiable Compensation and Position Classification factors in regard to the financial capacity of the government.


Under the proposed legislation, no GOCC shall be exempted from the coverage of the new compensation system to be developed by the commission.


Subject to the President’s approval, the monitoring body may also recommend an additional allowance for certain position titles, giving due consideration to the necessity for such allowances and the good performance of the state enterprise.


Drilon said that the bill’s approval in the administration-dominated Senate would highlight the widespread public frustration with the way state-owned enterprises operate, particularly in granting the members of the governing boards and some official’s excessive allowances and bonuses despite the government’s tight fiscal position.


State companies came under scrutiny by Drilon’s committee, which also exposed officials of troubled government firms receiving unwarranted salaries and perks, particularly the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System when it operated on a negative revenue base but managed to grant generous perks to its employees.


PNoy indicated that the bill of Drilon was discussed during the full Cabinet meeting Tuesday as one of the administration’s priorities, ramping up support for the measure. (Jason de Asis)


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