Equality in government bonuses
Collecting a performance bonus worth millions of pesos is thievery in broad daylight when done by public officials. President Aquino said he authorized the payment of performance bonuses to government officials and employees because of their efficient performance.
In the case of the board of directors of the Social Security System (SSS), how could there be good performance when, as Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares pointed out, they “failed to collect billions in unremitted premiums from delinquent employers, which not only means that they have no right to increase premium contributions but also that they have no right to a good performance bonus” (“House probe of SSS bonus sought,” News, 10/11/13).
And how can the SSS claim it earned billions of pesos in exclusive income when these came from contributions of its members, which contributions automatically become pension funds?
Indeed, the SSS invests, as it should, a certain percentage of the members’ contributions in productive ventures in order to earn real income, but it should not rely on the pension funds for performance bonus.
While the employees of other government offices make do with a Christmas bonus equivalent to a month’s salary, the SSS’ highly paid officials enjoy bonuses equivalent to 25 months’ salary.
The SSS directors’ performance bonus presumably ate up a substantial amount of the agency’s pension funds.
Meanwhile, the government-funded Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) remains inefficient and it is as if its personnel depend only on the proceeds from the sale of postage stamps and money order fees for their salaries and wages. According to them, they don’t enjoy any bonus at all.
Ostensibly, Congress does not allocate a budget for PhilPost in the annual General Appropriations Act. And due to the proliferation of privately owned remittance services, nobody is inclined to engage the services of that firm, as a result of which its monthly revenues have declined. Besides, many postal materials coursed through it are getting lost; public suspicion points to the post office’s poorly paid personnel as the culprits.
It’s high time Congress enacted a law entitling all public officials and employees, including those in government-owned or -controlled corporations, to a “performance bonus” regardless of their employment status, with certain limits as to how much, in order to motivate them into efficiently performing their duties and responsibilities. Similarly, Congress should enact a law authorizing the legislative bodies of local government units to appropriate in their yearly annual budgets an amount for the performance bonus of local officials and employees—subject, however, to the availability of funds.
—GODOFREDO O. PETEZA SR.,
JP Rizal Street,
Daet, Camarines Norte
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