HENRY Onia, a regular reader of The Manila Times, has suggested that I also look at the Government Service Insurance System as I have done with the Social Security System. Good idea and I welcome it. But here is something for Onia and others like him interested in knowing how much the government is paying to its executives.
The Commission of Audit is the best place to find out how the government spends public funds. I rely on COA for data that I usually need when I write about the compensation of government officials including those in the SSS and the GSIS.
If government workers are interested in knowing if their top officials deserve their salaries, they only have to access www.coa.gov.ph. This website has the data—the total annual compensation of top government executives, particularly the presidential appointees.
Are the heads of government agencies receover too much or too little compared with their private sec-tor counterparts?
Government compensation in 2002 consisted of basic salary, honorarium, representation allowance, bonuses and incentives, and “others.” I do not understand the classification “others.” This classification, which I placed within quotation marks, was–and still is–perhaps, to justify official expenses that can never be justified.
As I said in the July 17 due diligencer, I find COA’s inclusion of “confidential/intelligence fund” as part of the compensation of Efraim Genuino in 2010. What I defined in a previous article as “insertion” unfairly bloated his compensation to P287,457,717 in 2010 from only P3,714,816 in 2009.
Back to the point of this article. In 2011, when Grace Pulido Tan was COA’s chairperson, the annual compensation report included, for the first time, the pays and perks of top GSIS officials.
In her report for 2011, Tan identified 23 highest paid GSIS executives that included nine members of the board of trustees, one president and general manager, three executive vice presidents, eight senior vice presidents, two corporate secretaries, one assistant chief of staff and one chief legal counsel.
GSIS paid them, as a group, a total sum of P94,240,720 in 2011; P141,925,459 in 2012; P133,229,600 in 2013; P137,463,572 in 2014; and P156,508,758 in 2015. According to COA, GSIS had 44 highly paid officials in 2012, 2013 and 2015. In 2014, it had 49 highly paid.
Robert G. Vergara is GSIS’s highest paid official with total compensation of P8,308,342 in 2011 of which P1.755 million as BOT vice chairman, and P6,553,342 as GSIS’s president and general manager.
Vergara received his biggest compensation of P16,364,776 for the 15-month period in 2012. The COA report did not explain how 2012 happened to have 15 months. His pays included basic salary of P9,653,194; allowance, P1,684,244; bonus, incentives and benefits, P4,968,837.
In 2013, Vergara received a total compensation of P12,088,476 which included P7,748,447 in basic sala-ry. The rest included honorarium P510,000, allowances P1,339,299, bonus, incentives and benefits P2,096,200, others P40,800, and discretionary fund P363,729.
His compensation in 2014 totaled P10,940,657 divided into basic salary P7,402,320, honorarium P24,000, allowances P2,154,159, bonus, incentives and benefits P1,830,518 others P657,660, and discretionary, P25,001.
Finally, in 2015 as BOT vice chairman Vergara received pays and perks amounting to P1.388 million while as GSIS president and general manager he was paid basic salary of P7,402,320, honorarium of P6,000, and allowances P467,889.
Understandably, Vergara remains the highest-paid government official. Remember, Vergara, as I learned a few years ago, was in Hong Kong before the government pirated him to head GSIS and steer it to profitability.