PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Wednesday said he wants more perks for officials and employees of government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) that have been contributing huge dividends to the national coffers.
In his speech during the 2015 GOCC Dividends Day in Malacanang, Aquino surprised his audience with the directive, adding that the bonuses of GOCCs must be reviewed within a month’s time.
“I am directing now [Finance] Secretary [Cesar] Purisima, and [Government Commission for GOCCs chairman] Mr. Cesar Villanueva, and also Budget Secretary FLorencio Butch Abad: I want a review of the bonuses that have been accruing all of the people involved in the GOCCs. Dahil in our interest to make you more efficient, baka naman kayo ang nakalimutan. Pinasaya n’yo ‘yung bansa, baka kayo naman ang pinalungkot nang todo-todo,” said Aquino.
He said he expects the review to happen in about a month’s time, promising that “we will seek to maximize the benefits accruing everybody as empowered by the pertinent laws.”
Aquino made the statement after the heads of 49 GOCCs handed over checks totaling P36.36 billion to the president during the annual ceremonial turnover of dividends in Malacañang.
The Governance Commission said this year’s GOCC dividends and other remittances increased from P32.31 billion in 2013 to P36.36 billion in 2014.
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) had the highest dividends and remitted P6.254 billion. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), on the other hand, had the highest total remittances at P10.137 billion. LBP and Pagcor are joined by eight others in the Billionaires’ Club—an elite class of contributors that have declared P1 billion or more in dividends.
In his speech, Aquino also belittled the previous administration for coming out only with P84.18 billion dividends covering nine years from 2001-2010.
“Panahon po natin, mula 2010 hanggang 2015, lumaki po ‘yung numero, naging P131.28 billion. Ibig sabihin po no’n, isama na natin ‘yung 2016, malamang ay may kapanatagan ang loob namin ni Cesar Purisima na ipangako sa inyong dodoblehin iyung dibidendo mula sa dinatnan natin sa mas konting oras. Tandaan na lang po natin, pinalitan natin [ay]nine and a half years pong namuno, tayo po’y nasa fifth year pa lang,” he stressed.
He encouraged those in GOCCs, however, to do more and not to relax.
The President also took a swipe at former GOCC officials and agencies that were involved in several controversies such as the pork barrel scam.
Many of these GOCCs had been abolished since then. Aquino said it is best that these agencies be forgotten.