Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna on Monday questioned the P1.487-million bonus given to employees of the National Livelihood Development Center (NLDC), a government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC) which was reportedly used as a conduit of the fake nongovernmental groups owned by Janet Napoles.
“What are the good things that NLDC has done when they have implemented ghost projects? The issue is not just the amount of the bonuses, but do they deserve it in the first place? This agency should be probed. Instead, they even got incentives!” House Deputy Minority Leader Colmenares said.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd has earlier defended the granting of bonuses to the members of the board of the Social Security System (SSS), arguing that the framework for the bonuses was outlined in the law governing GOCCs.
The P10-million bonus for SSS officials came at a time when the agency increased its membership premium, citing financial difficulty due to delinquent employers who refuse to remit their dues, among others.
“The President has defended the bonuses of the SSS board along with the other GOCCs, but does he know that he is also defending the supposed conduits for the pork barrel scam? Would he still say that all these bonuses are above board?” Colmenares asked.
He said that in granting the bonuses, the Governance Commission for the GOCCs failed to follow the requirements under Section 25 of Republic Act 10149, or the GOCC law, which requires the mandatory posting of the complete compensation package of the board members, including travel and representation expenses and the five years financial statements of the GOCC on the GOCC website.
“The Governance Commission for GOCCs did not even check the backgrounds of each GOCC and what anomalies they are involved in. It is clear that these bonuses are undeserved and illegal. No play of words by Malacañang or even President Aquino can change that,” Colmenares added. “Those who got the bonuses should return the amount and let the commission do another thorough review of the performance of GOCCs.”