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After years of scrimping, PNoy now wants increased benefits for GOCC execs


(Updated 4:46 p.m.) Years after tightening the belt of state-run firms, President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday said he wants more benefits for government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).

In a speech after the turnover of dividend checks from 48 GOCCs, Aquino said employees of state-run firms should be rewarded for reforming their ranks.

The President directed Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Governance Commission for GOCCs chairman Secretary Cesar Villanueva, and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to review bonuses of state-controlled firms’ employees.

"I expect the review to happen in about a month’s time, and we will seek to maximize the benefits accruing to everybody empowered by the pertinent laws,” Aquino said in his speech.

"In our interest to make you more efficient, baka kayo naman ang nakalimutan. Pinasaya niyo ang bansa, baka kayo naman ang pinalungkot ng todo,” he told GOCC employees present during the event in Malacañang.

The President’s directive was in stark contrast with his effort to go after erring GOCCs during the start of his administration. In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino criticized officials of state-run corporations for supposedly receiving excessive bonuses.

Months after assuming the presidency, Aquino suspended allowances and bonuses of GOCC officials.

Higher GOCC dividends
 
During his speech, Aquino recalled how GOCCs were losing money prior to his presidency, with officials using their positions for personal gain.
 
“Noong nag-umpisa tayo, ang dinatnan nating sitwasyon sa GOCCs: ginagatasan na, gusto pang karnehan. At siyempre ho, ‘yung kawawa hong baka o kalabaw, medyo hindi ho tatagal sa ganung sitwasyon,” the President said.
 
He said the situation has already changed, with GOCC dividends during the past five years reaching P131.28 billion—significantly higher than the P84.18-billion dividends remitted by state-run firms during former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term.
 
Aquino also highlighted how he was able to abolish non-performing GOCCs, and those linked to controversies such as the alleged pork barrel scam.
 
“Pinangako ho natin sa umpisa, pagbaba natin sa puwesto–which will happen a year and a month from now– di hamak na mas maganda ang makikita natin o maiiwan nating sambayanang Pilipinas kaysa dinatnan natin,” the President said.
 
He likewise encouraged GOCC employees to continue working for reforms.
 
“Ang pakiusap ko po: Huwag tayong titigil; huwag tayong makontento sa nagawa na; mag-isip pa tayo ng paraan para ba lalong mapaganda ‘yung iiwan nating biyaya, pakinabang, serbisyo sa taumbayan na siya namang lumikha at talagang tumatangkilik sa atin at sumusuporta sa atin,” Aquino said. — NB/RSJ, GMA News
 
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