20 highest-paid in gov’t bared

An auditing job by the Commission on Audit has shown that the executives of government financial institutions were the highest-paid public officials in 2018.

At least 15 in the top 20 came from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, two from the Government Service Insurance System and one from the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the commission on April 11 issued a notice of suspension on the Presidential Commission on Good Government concerning disbursements and charges totaling $2.98 million or P157 million against the retained funds from the recovered ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.

In its 2018 audit report on the PCGG released on May 21, the Commission reported that the fund releases from the fund kept with the Philippine National Bank were “not supported by documents” that would have established the validity of the claims.

The money came from the $5 million that the PNB’s retained fund created in 2004 out of the $658.175 million escrowed Marcos Swiss deposits that were ordered forfeited in favor of the government in July 2003.

The two non-GFI officials in the highest-paid list were Solicitor General Jose Calida and Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, who landed sixth and ninth, respectively. 

The top earner for 2018 with P21.048 million in salaries and allowances was the late Bangko Sentral governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. who died February. 

He was also at the top of the 2017 list, followed by DBP president and chief executive Cecilia Cayosa who received P15.804 million.

BSP deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo received P14.412 million for third place.

Those in the top 20 list were BSP deputy governor Maria Almasara Amador with P13.868 million, BSP deputy governor Chuchi Fornacier with P13.504 million, Solicitor General Jose Calida with P12.47 million, BSP senior assistant governor Maria Ramona Gertrudes Santiago with P11.323 million, GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas with P11.1 million, Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin with P10.919 million, BSP assistant governor Wilhelmina Mañalac with P10.889 million, BSP assistant governor Elmore Capule with P10.514 million, BSP Monetary Board member Peter Favila with P10.399 million, BSP senior assistant governor Dahlia Luna with P10.14 million, BSP Monetary Board member Antonio Abacan Jr. with 9.938 million, BSP Monetary Board member Juan de Zuñiga Jr. with P9.588 million, BSP Monetary Board member Felipe Medalla with P9.391 million, BSP assistant governor Iluminada Sicat with P9.128 million, GSIS senior vice president Nora Saludares with P8.898 million, BSP assistant governor Johnny Noe Ravalo with P8.568 million, and BSP assistant governor Restituto Cruz with P8.5 million.

The list was provided in the 2018 Report on Salaries and Allowances released by the commission on May 21. 

Copies of the same report were submitted to the Office of the President, the Senate and the House of Representatives on April 29.

Aranas was a newcomer in the top 20, having climbed from 1,657th spot in the 2017 list as former deputy commissioner of the BIR with a P1.679 million for that year.

Calida was down two spots from no. 4 in 2017 despite a P1.57-million increase, while Bersamin jumped 12 spots from no. 22 in 2017.  

Topics: Commission on Audit , highest-paid public officials
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