PHILIP Juico and his wife, Margarita, were among the loyal yellow followers of then President Corazon C. Aquino. The association must have earned the husband a short stint in the Aquino cabinet although he stayed only for two years as head of the Department of Agrarian Reform having failed to get the confirmation of the powerful Commission on Appointment.
Then another Aquino came to power 24 years after his mother. Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino 3rd, as president, is now the temporary chief occupant of Malacañang.
While his term will end in June 2016, one of his appointees, who happened to be Margarita, Philip’s wife who, as reports described her, used to be a close friend of Mrs. Aquino, has resigned as chairperson of the board of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
News had it that she had tendered her irrevocable resignation (she wanted it to take effect immediately) because her successor has yet to be appointed but has been bragging to his friends that he would soon replace her.
Perhaps, by this time, the Juico couple have realized that politics—not close association with the mother of the president—counts more in weighing who is more deserving of a presidential appointment. Loyalty has no place in a government ruled by politics.
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The question is, why would anyone be interested in the PCSO chairmanship? Is it power that attracts a politician to it?
Yes, PCSO has money because it generates revenues from the games—gambling would be a more appropriate word—that it plays. Forget the original sweepstakes. Just think Lotto.
As board chairman, do you share from the revenues of more than P35 billion a year? Of course not. You will be entitled only to allowances, as Juico did in 2012, when she received P1,317,410. With this compensation, however, will you still yearn to steal when you will be assured of getting P109,784 a month?
Of course, as a political appointee, you definitely will want more than P3,659 a day while hallucinating inside an air-conditioned room. You will not be satisfied with so small an amount that will not afford you to campaign for votes and get yourself elected to a local or national post. In a case like this, what should you do? Think Lotto again and the money that it generates, but you need not play it. More importantly, don’t even dream of stealing lotto money. “Mine” your own pocket. Don’t covet other people’s money.
Due Diligencer has a suggestion. Consider a number of ways and manipulate them to increase your compensation. As chairman of the board, you can sway the votes in favor of more allowances and bigger amounts of bonuses. If you will study the compensation table of government executives prepared by the Commission on Audit, you can have a member of the board file a resolution for additional pays and perks such as basic salary, bonuses, incentives and benefits and discretionary and emergency allowances. As the saying goes, “there are many ways of skinning a cat.” Don’t be literal with this adage. Due Diligencer loves house pets.
Don’t worry about the presidential approval of the increases in your compensation. If you are that close to the appointing power, you won’t have a hard time getting what you want. After all, you can tell him—your president—that as chairman you will receive only “allowances,” which are only one of six classifications in COA’s compensation table. The five others are basic salary; personnel economic relief (PERA)/additional compensation; allowances; bonus, incentives and benefits; extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses; and other allowances.
From the list, you don’t have to gamble on any of Lotto’s number combinations. Simply choose any one of them under which to classify your additional emoluments. Don’t be too greedy though by selecting them all. Leave something to your successors since your term will end with whoever took you in.
But if you want to be honest in your government job and at the same time crave for bigger pay, why not go after the post of general manager of a water district. Not just any water district. Choose Angeles City Water, the most generous of them all because it paid Reynaldo Liwanag, its general manager, P6,575,637 in 2012; and P5,996,197 in 2011.
You may also want to restore the pay scale of Liwanag’s predecessor, Romeo Calara, who got what was probably the biggest pay increase in the history of public service. From P1,083,200 in 2009, Calara’s compensation soared almost 14 times to P15,012,057 in 2010. If you want the increase in percent, then divide P13,928,857 by P1,083,200 and your computation gives you 1,285.90 percent.
As a political appointee, which would you prefer: PCSO chairmanship or head of Angeles City Water District in Region 3? Please choose well and wisely.