IT is not the intention of Duediligencer to add anything to Yen Makabenta’s column on the compensation the Social Security System paid to its top executives, particularly to one of the members of the Social Security Commission (SSC). The column appeared on the website of The Manila Times on June 7 but it was originally published on Feb. 18.
The reactions to the column were mostly against SSS. Considering that I thought the readers of The Manila Times deserved to know how the Social Security System has been spending their monthly contributions. I needed to gather more interesting numbers for SSS members who, in reacting to Mr Makabenta’s column, showed their disgust over SSS’s great generosity to its top managers. I have discovered certain findings of the Commission on Audit that SSS members should be told about. If they want to know more about Duediligencer’s revelations in this piece, they need only to access the website of the Commission on Audit, www.coa.gov.ph.
Three SSC heads
What can be more shocking than to find SSC—the policy making body of SSS—having three chairpersons, who all served during the entire year of 2011 and were paid a total of P3.743 million? They were Eliza Bettina R. Antonino, who was paid P1.3 million; Daniel L. Edralin, P1.284 million; and Juan C. Santos, P1.159 million.
P3.415M for Antonino
In her last full year as SSS commissioner in 2015, Antonino received an allowance of P729,000; bonus, incentives and benefits, P1.382 million; and discretionary and emergency perks, P1.304 million. Her total compensation of P3.415 million in 2015 was not bad for a year’s work even if she remitted an estimated P1.092 million as her income tax to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Imagine how the public stockholders of listed stocks would react if the companies in which they entrust their investments would have not one but two chairpersons. At SSC, it was even worse in 2011; it had three chairpersons.
P4.6M for Santos
Both Antonio and Edralin were paid only their annual allowance but Santos got much more. According to COA, he received a total of P4.636 million as “SSS chairman for 15 months.”
Besides SSC’s three chairpersons, COA listed 14 others in top management of SSS. They received P39.104 million in 2011. These were seven commissioners, namely Diana P. Aguilar (P1.354 million), Ibarra A. Malonzo (P1.264 million), Bienvenido E. Laguesma (P1.057 million), Marianita O. Mendoza (P819,000); five senior executive vice presidents, namely, Miguel E. Roca Jr. (P5.266 million), Eddie A. Jara (P4.82 million), Jose B. Bautista (P4.815 million), Judy Frances A. See (P4.48 million), and Amador M. Monteiro (P4.207 million).
While Labor Secretary Rosalinda O. Baldoz did not receive any compensation in 2011 or in other years, as commissioner, SSS paid Emilio S. de Quiroz Jr. P2.808 million as president and chief executive officer.
In 2010, SSC had two chairmen because of the change in national leadership. Thelmo Cunanan received P1.394 million as compensation for seven and a half months. Santos succeeded him and was paid P40,000 as allowance for four and a half months. In his last full year as SSC chairman in 2009, Cunanan’s compensation totaled P1.715 million, slightly less than what he was paid in 2010.
For more comparison of government’s generosity, here is COA’s 2010 audit report of the Supreme Court.
In 2010, the late Chief Justice Renato Corona received P1.833 million of which P654,959.23 was his basic salary. The rest were additional pays and perks. Including discretionary amount of P483,999.96, the late Chief Justice’s compensation totaled P2.316 million.
In 2015, the basic salary of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno amounted to P1.241 million, which was almost twice what Corona got in 2010. Including perks and discretionary funds detailed in COA’s report, she was paid a total of P4.82 million of which P1.991 million, or 41.307 percent, was her allowance. Sereno was the first appointee to the Supreme Court of President Aquino.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an overpopulated government agency.
It does not need five commissioners including the chairperson to regulate the Philippine Stock Exchange. It is only a depository of company files as the government’s agency tasked with registering corporations, be they stock corporations or partnerships.
Depicted as corporate watchdog, the SEC still maintains a five-person regulatory body, whose members are all well paid.
In 2015, Chairperson Teresita Herbosa received P9.801 million; Ephyro Luis Barrios, Manuel Huberto Badilla Gaite, Antonieta Fortuna Ibe, and Blas James Gregorio Viterbo were paid P6,531 million each. As SEC’s general counsel, Camilo Santos Correa received P2.77 million.
The SEC, a self-regulatory organization, does not need the services of a five-person commission and pay its members P38.696 million in 2015. If the Securities Regulation Code is amended, the composition of the SEC’s regulatory body should be reduced to three members. As a matter of fact, the SEC can effectively function even with only an executive director running its day-to-day operations.