WAS Robert Vergara, GSIS president and general manager, really the highest-paid government official in 2012? Was it not Ma. Theresa Quirino, who was senior executive vice president of the Development Bank of the Philippines?
The annual postings on the COA website showed Vergara received P16.365 million in 2012 as “president and general manager, GSIS – 15 months.” How come the annual audit should cover 15 months but only 12 for Vergara? If the number was only a typographical error, then why not correct it?
If the “extended” year of 15 months was what COA intended, then let it stay as is. Still, with or without the additional three months for audit year 2012, the report could be confusing.
Due Diligencer checked COA’s audit of 2011 government compensation only to find that the annual posting covered the whole year that Vergara served as GSIS president and general manager. How did then COA arrive at a 15-month period in 2012 when Vergara was reported to have been paid P16.365 million?
It could be that Vergara was paid P16.365 million either in 15 months or in 12 months. If the total compensation was for one year and three months, then he would have gotten P1.091 million a month. Then multiplying P1.091 million by 12 to get his full-year’s pay and perks would be equal to P13.092 million.
If Due Diligencer’s computation here is correct based on the numbers culled from COA report, then Vergara was not and should not have been the highest paid government executive in 2012. Instead, it should be Quirino of DBP with her compensation of P13.767 million.
Whether or not the present ranking needs an erratum, the question that begs an answer or answers is where COA got the extra three months for Vergara’s 2012 salary report when its audit also covered the entire year of 2011 in auditing the remuneration of the GSIS chief.
There must some explanation for the additional three months that COA attributed to Vergara’s annual compensation. Otherwise, if the percentage of increase were to be taken into account, then Vergara was the luckiest government official for having been blessed with a pay adjustment of 96.695 percent to P16.365 million in 2012 from P8.320 million in 2011.
Incidentally, in the 39 months covered by COA’s compensation audit, Vergara received a total of P36.773 million – P12.088 million in 2013; P16.365 million in 2012; and P8.320 million in 2011 – divided into basic salary of P21.685 million and other pay and perks of P15.088 million.
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ADDENDUM. Vergara, the man the Aquino administration persuaded to come home from Hong Kong, must be enjoying his stay here. He occupies a well air-conditioned huge office that he inherited from the previous occupant. How huge Due Diligencer does not know, but was told that the man from Hong Kong had told close associates that he uses only 20 percent of the big space.
Of course, he is not about to give up the unused 80 percent space because by doing so, he might freeze in the coolness of the room. As it is, the room is “over-cooled” by super air-conditioning units that fellow executives have to put on their jackets when he calls them to meetings.
This piece should have focused only on Vergara’s pay and perks. But Due Diligencer has received complaints not only from GSIS insiders but also from the public who say that if it is too cold inside Vergara’s office, then it is the opposite at the cash department where loan borrowers pay their monthly amortizations but are usually in a hurry to leave because of the heat due to a lack of air-conditioning.
If the public could depart anytime they want, how about GSIS’s small workers who have to complete their eight-hour duty? They have to stay and continue suffering the intense heat, hoping their air-conditioning units would be repaired soon.
How soon? Nobody knows the answer except Vergara.