• Labor center blames Aquino for P2.3-B bonuses

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    MILITANT group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on Thursday said President Benigno Aquino 3rd should be blamed for the P2.3 billion in bonuses which 31 government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) received for 2012 and which should be refunded according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
    KMU noted that while COA continues to asseart the bonuses’ return on the basis that the bonuses’ release did not have presidential approval, Malacañang through deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte defended such bonuses at a press conference in October 2013.

    “COA’s statements against the GOCC bonuses are just part of the Aquino government’s
    anti-corruption propaganda. Aquino continues to defend the bonuses in the same way that he defends the pork barrel system,” Roger Soluta, the group’s secretary general, said.

    Soluta said that COA efforts to make the GOCCs refund the bonuses will amount to nothing without Aquino’s support.

    The labor leader also stated that the GOCC boards are merely invoking rank-and-file employees to try to justify the huge bonuses, saying board members and high-ranking executives got most from the bonuses.

    “The continued existence of these bonuses and the pork barrel system is proof that corruption continues under the Aquino presidency. Worse, corruption is being made to appear ‘legal’ by a president who claims to be against corruption,” Soluta said.

    He also recalled that Aquino condemned the huge bonuses pocketed by GOCC executives in his first State of the Nation Address in 2010.

    “As far as workers are concerned, these GOCCs are not performing well and their huge bonuses cannot be justified. Workers experience worsening hunger and poverty and some of these GOCCs are directly responsible for the workers’ plight,” Soluta said.

    The GOCCs, which received huge bonuses include the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.|

    The group, however, is wondering why the Social Security System is not included in the list of 31 GOCCs, when the said agency was at the center of the controversy over the bonuses that erupted late last year.

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