In the Commission on Audit’s 2014 Report on Salaries and Allowances, seven out of the ten highest paid government officials are diplomats of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The country’s ambassador to China was the Philippine government’s highest paid official, getting P16.44 million in 2014.
Officials of government financial institutions such as the GSIS, SSS, Bangko Sentral and Development Bank of the Philippines also got hefty allowances and bonuses.
Anthony Robles, Executive Vice President of the DBP, got a P4.7 million bonus in 2014. He is 10th highest paid official for 2014, receiving a total of P9.85 million. DBP EVP Fe Susan Prado also received P9 million in 2014, which included a P4.33 million bonus. She is the 16th highest paid official.
Robles, Prado and other DBP officials face plunder raps before the Ombudsman filed by DBP vice-president Mario Pagaragan and Atty. Francis Badilla. The DBP officials reportedly got a total of P312 million in bonuses last year.
GSIS President Robert Vergara received more than P7.4 million for his basic salary, P2.15 million in allowances and P1.83 million in bonuses for a total of P12.56 million. He is the second highest paid official last year.
SSS President Emilio de Quiros received a total of P6.84 million for 2014, which included a bonus worth P2.25 million.
Erlinda Basilio, the Philippine Ambassador to China, received a total of P16.44 million, of which P15.34 million consisted of allowances. Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique Manalo who is third on the list of highest paid officials got P12.34 million, of which more than P11 million consisted of allowances.
BSP head Amando Tetangco, who is the 9th highest paid government official, got a basic salary of P5.4 million, allowances of P1.88 million, bonuses and incentives worth P2 million and P526,000 in discretionary funds for a total of P9.85 million.
PAGCOR chair and president’s classmate Cristino Naguiat, 36th on the list, received P7.76 million in 2014, which included a P3.48 million bonus.
Department of Agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala led other cabinet officials with P3.21 million as he is paid for his post in the DA and in the National Food Authority. PhilHealth’s Alexander Padilla received P3.63 million.
The amounts received by our diplomats and other top officials are mind-boggling. Meanwhile, the salaries of most government employees are nailed to the floor. They have not had any significant increase under the Aquino regime.
For example, the salaries and allowances of the 13 highest paid diplomats of the DFA is already more than the P100 million legal assistance fund of the DFA for distressed OFW’s. The huge allowances of these officials stand in stark contrast to the dismal situation of many OFW’s.
In 2013, the highest paid DFA official got around P6 million. No DFA official was in the top 10 list of highest paid for that year. This year, 7 of the top 10 are from the DFA, Thirty four of the top 50 highest paid are also from the DFA.
Taxpayers and working people deserve an explanation from government. Our underpaid public school teacher and government health workers deserve an explanation. It is high time that their demands for a substantial increase in their salaries are addressed by government. ###
Pero ang mga guro, patuloy pa ring ipinaglalaban ang dagdag na sweldo.