Inquirer’s June 10 issue reported: “4 top BSP execs highest paid in gov’t.” To say the least, it was shocking to know how executives of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) helped themselves in 2016 to over P12 million each in salaries, perks and allowances. Eyebrow-raising, too, was the take of SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) chair, Teresita Herbosa (P8.34 million). The jaw-dropper was the inclusion of Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita de Castro (P8.14 million also in 2016 alone).
There are questions people—overburdened taxpayers from whom those huge amounts of money were exacted—want answered: What has the BSP to show for appropriating such a big slice for its executives? Aside from making a few bank owners earn more billions from their banking businesses, what has the BSP done for the tens of millions of depositors who heed its call, “magimpok sa bangko para sa kaunlaran,” but have for so many years now been “earning” only about 1 percent per annum on their deposits?
What has the SEC chair to show for a fat account in the face of so many failed companies whose bankruptcy has caused so much miseries to the victims of their mismanagement? Nada. What? SEC’s total failure to monitor their financial health?
And as to the super-multimillionaire Supreme Court justice, we sincerely doubt if she earned that kind of money from being the fastest decision-maker in that Court known, since time immemorial, for its snail-paced delivery of justice. So how did she outpace her colleagues in the race for the top money? With that kind of racket, imagine how much more mind-boggling the retirements benefits justices of that Court receive despite leaving behind a backlog of unresolved cases.
For the sake of transparency, cannot the Commission on Audit give the people a breakdown of those out-of-this-world “earnings,” which most likely are due to “double compensation”?
This government is fond of giving more generous compensation for “ex officio” hours spent in other agencies by an official, on top of the compensation already fixed for the office to which he/she was principally appointed. When ex officio work is done in another agency or office, the official concerned is absent from his primary office and does no work there. Does it result in the diminution of his pay in the latter office? No, therefore, he is being paid twice. And then multiply that by the number of times he makes that happen in a year. There you have it: It manifestly is downright plunderous.
GABRIELLE MICHELLE M. AGUILLERA,
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