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31 GOCCs told to answer COA on fat allowances, bonuses

January 15, 2014 4:05pm
The Governance Commission for Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations (GGC) on Wednesday ordered 31 GOCCs to answer the observations made by the Commission on Audit (COA) regarding the supposedly unauthorized allowances and bonuses received by their executives.
 
"All the GOCCs mentioned have been directed to submit to the GCG a concrete response and reply thereto within the next 24 hours. The GCG will be issuing in a few days the final responses of the GOCCs and the Commission's own evaluation for the guidance of the general public," the GCG said in a statement Wednesday.
 
GCG issued the statement after the Commission on Audit ordered some 31 GOCCs to return P2.3 billion in supposedly unauthorized bonuses and allowances paid to their officials in 2012.
 
It had reviewed the COA reports and discussed the findings with concerned GOCCs, except the Local Water Districts and Economic Zone Authorities which operate outside GCG jurisdiction.
 
Apart from three GOCCs, none of the other GOCCs covered in the COA report have been issued Notices of Disallowances.

Action plan
 
Despite this, GCC said the GOCCs were required in their 2013 Performance Agreements to submit "concrete and time-bound" action plan for addressing observations raise by COA so that the "fitness" of officials may be determined pending an evaluation by COA and the courts on whether a notice should be issued.
 
GCG, however, said the amounts in the report cover "various items that were already being granted without legal basis prior to the Aquino administration."
 
"As the current administration has been firm on its policy of not granting post facto approvals, many of these findings have therefore been recurring in COA reports," he said.
 
Last year, GCG said at least 20 GOCCs received authorization to disburse performance-based incentives for 2012.
 
In fact the 31 GOCCS have been ordered to return P2.3 billion in supposedly unauthorized bonuses and allowances paid to officials in 2012, according to Commission on Audit report.
 
The 2012 Annual Financial Report released in December revealed that P2,313,486,000 in unauthorized bonuses were paid to officials and employees that year.
 
"[The] ...allowances and benefits to the board of directors and employees [were] without or in excess of legal basis or proper authority,” the report said.
 
"They were ordered to immediately discontinue the practice and “refund the excess compensation/allowances received,” the report added. 
 
According to COA, the Top 10 GOCCs that received bonuses in excess of what was considered legal are: 
  • Philippine Health Insurance Corp or Philhealth (P1,651,084,000)
  • Development Bank of the Philippines (P216,801,000)
  • Region 7 Water Districts (P186,584,000)
  • Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (P54,829,000)
  • Philippine Economic Zone Authority (P48,500,000)
  • Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund (P37,636,000)
  • Butuan City Water District  (P28,243,000)
  • Development Academy of the Philippines (P23,838,000)
  • Philippine National Oil Co.–Exploration Corp. or PNOC-EC (P14,518,000) 
  • Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority or MCIAA ( P14,406,000).

Completing the list of 31 GOCCs are: 
  • Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA)
  • Batangas Land Company Inc. (BLCI)
  • Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)
  • Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC)
  • Human Settlements Development Corp. (HSDC)
  •  Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP)
  • Manila Gas Corp. (MGC)
  • National Dairy Authority (NDA)
  • National Development Company (NDC)
  • NDC-Phil. Infrastructure Corp. (NDC-PIC)
  • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
  • Philippine International Convention Center Inc. (PICCI)
  • Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC)
  • PNOC-Development and Management Corp. (PDMC)
  • PNOC-Alternative Fuel Corp. (PAFC)
  • Southern Utility Management and Services Inc. (SUMSI)
  • Trade Investment Development Corp. of the Phil. (TIDCorp)
  • Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
  • Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) and Madrid Water District.

GCG sets the policy 

In a separate October 2013 report, COA said Philhealth has approved at least 22 allowances and benefits for its executives and personnel, even without approval from the Office of the President.
 
Bonuses paid to Philhealth in 2012 totaled P2.825 billion, according to COA, noting the amount was higher by P150 million compared with 2011.
 
Malacañang, however, deferred from directly commenting on the issue.
 
"I won’t be able to answer that because GCG [Governance Commission for GOCCs] is going to issue a statement right now. They set the policy for the bonuses," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters at a press briefing Wednesday.
 
"It is GCG that... would have the competence and the knowledge to explain if ever there were any break downs on the bonuses and allowances," he added.
 
 
It said the bonuses were legal and competitive with private sector rates. – With Patricia Chiu/VS, GMA News
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