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Excessive pay and bonuses now a thing of the past

/ 11:39 PM December 23, 2011

This is in reaction to the news article titled “MWSS still giving big bonuses—COA.” (Inquirer, 12/18/11)

We find it odd that the Commission on Audit (COA) would make a report on supposedly excessive expenses of a regional office of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS). This is not true. The MWSS does not have regional offices. The report obviously referred to statements made by President Aquino during his 2010 State of the Nation Address. Those concerns have long been addressed by the present MWSS administration.

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Also, the headline seems to say that the MWSS administration has not changed its ways when in fact it has. Since I assumed office as MWSS administrator on Jan. 31, 2011, we have addressed the issue of extravagant salaries and bonuses by trimming down benefits and salaries without violating labor agreements.

Even before the GOCC bill was signed, we had cut down the frequency of board meetings from four times a month to only once a month and replaced the board of trustees with professionals of unquestionable integrity whose qualifications match the development program requirements of the agency.

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To settle a 15-year retirement claims issue, we paid out P648 million in added benefits to former employees. This is on top of the P3.67 billion paid in retirement benefits to more than 2,000 employees since the privatization of our distribution services in 1997, in accordance with our Early Retirement and Incentive Package.

We reduced our operating expenses by 5 percent, from P2.3 billion in 2010 to P2.2 billion in 2011, owing to increased office productivity. We increased our revenues by 21 percent, from P2.3 billion in 2010 to P2.8 billion in 2011, owing to increases in lease and raw water collections. We also increased our net income by 2,000 percent, from P30 million in 2010 to P560 million in 2011.

We have consistently complied with President Aquino’s mandate to be open, transparent and honest in managing MWSS operations. A front-page story in the Inquirer even depicted the MWSS as having been transformed “from whipping boy to poster boy” of the Aquino administration in its call for utmost transparency in governance and campaign against corruption.

—GERARDO A. I. ESQUIVEL,

administrator,

Metropolitan Waterworks

and Sewerage System

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TAGS: bonuses, corruption, government corporations, letters, MWSS, wages
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