Gov't to place cap on GOCC officials' bonuses, honoraria

MANILA, Philippines – The government will place a cap on the bonuses and honoraria of government-owned and -controlled corporations' (GOCCs) officials, which according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief, amounted to as much as P40,000 for every board meeting they attend to.

NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia said on the sidelines of a forum in Makati City on Tuesday, January 10 that President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce a cap on the bonuses and honoraria of GOCCs' officials.

"Once every quarter is the normal frequency of board meetings and their honoraria should be tempered, and also bonuses. In fact, they shouldn't be given bonuses. Why should they be given bonuses?," Pernia said.

Under Republic Act 10149, the total yearly per diems and incentives GOCC board members may receive should be determined by the President upon the recommendation of the Government Commission for GOCCs. 

"I understand an honorarium per meeting is P40,000. So, of course, there's an incentive for board members to have more frequent board meetings – so twice a month," Pernia said.

In the 2015 annual financial report on GOCCs by the Commission on Audit (COA), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) topped the list of unauthorized allowances, as it released P429.82 million in questionable compensation to its officials and employees.

The other GOCCs cited in the report are the following:

In 2015, COA has ordered 28 GOCCs to return unauthorized cash allowances and incentives amounting to P626.119 million. 

"GOCCs have become rather unwieldy. They are paid monthly and they meet twice a month," Pernia said. 

In the next Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting, Pernia said reforms in GOCCs will be one of the priority bills that will be tackled. –