“President Marcos was ill-advised when he vetoed bills that would grant tax exemptions on all the perks, benefits and honoraria given to teachers who served during elections”
Cannot begin to write this column, belated as it is, without first offering my sincere condolences to Ming Ramos and her children. I had already written my Tuesday column and sent it before former President Fidel Valdez Ramos passed away.
Eddie was my good friend. I used to visit him at his office at the FVR Foundation where we used to swap memories of old days since we both came from the same environment in Northern Luzon.
He was 94 years old, just a few months younger than I am.
I still recall when Eddie used to invite members of the 365 Club for a round of golf. Since I don’t play golf, I would just join the members of the 365 Club to play with Eddie at the golf range across Malacanang.
One of the traits of a good president is to be able to listen to good advice.
When I suggested to him to build a shrine in memory of the 1,250 Ilocanos and Igorots who died in that signal victory in the Battle of Bessang Pass on June 15, 1945 at the border of Ilocos Sur and Benguet that eventually led to the surrender of the legendary General known as “The Tiger of Malaya” Tomoyuki Yamashita, who led the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945, Eddie listened.
He had a shrine built at the town of Cervantes to memorialize the Battle of Bessang Pass, a signal victory of Filipino courage and bravery which unfortunately has not been recognized, much less memorialized as such against invasion from without.
Instead, we memorialize defeats like the surrender of Bataan and Corregidor in Araw ng Kagitingan every April 9.
mourn the demise of my good friend Eddie: May angels carry you in your flight. I will pray for you Eddie; may you rest in peace, my dear friend.
Now back to mundane things, President Marcos was ill-advised when he vetoed bills that would grant tax exemptions on all the perks, benefits and honoraria given to teachers who served during elections.
My gulay, considering the fact that teachers, on whose hands lie the education of future generations of Filipinos, already underpaid as they are, those bills granting them tax exemptions on their perks, benefits and honoraria are nothing considering the fact that these teachers risk their lives and sacrifice too much to serve their country.
With the veto of those bills, I wonder, Santa Banana, if teachers will again serve as guardians of the ballots in future elections.
President Marcos vetoed a bill aimed at strengthening the OGCC (Office of the Government Corporate Counsel) due to “overbearing provisions.”
This bill, enacted by both chambers of Congress, was vetoed over certain provisions, particularly on the salaries and benefits of its staff and the OGCC itself.
As reported , Marcos said in his veto message to Congress that while he agreed with the need to strengthen the OGCC, the principal law office of government-owned and government-controlled corporations, he found some portions of the proposal to be “overbearing.”
Marcos said he found the grant of remuneration, incentives, benefits, allowances and honoraria to OGCC staff to be “excessive” and “violates the principles of equity and standardization.”
That would make the OGCC a superbody, Santa Banana!
The report also said “He (Marcos) cited the proposed increase in the salary grade of the government corporate counsel from 30 to 31, which would effectively place it in the same level as that of the justice secretary, my gulay!
Marcos said such a provision would “distort the supervisor-subordinate relationship between the two officials, Santa Banana!
He also warned that the proposal to give the OGCC control and supervision over the legal departments of all government corporations may be prone to an unbridled abuse of authority.
To this I agree wholeheartedly.
Marcos also rejected the creation of a trust fund in the name of the OGCC, which he said violated the principle of the government’s one-fund policy. Santa Banana, that would make the OGCC a superbody.
I believe, however, that it is better for the President to just abolish the OGCC.
There are many reports by the Commission on Audit that the OGCC and its staff have been receiving allowances as much as more than one-half of the salary of the OGCC and its staff in violation of COA rules.
This is an anomaly because the law on allowances given to lawyers of the government should not exceed one-half of their salaries for the whole year
Since there are cases handled by the OGCC staff that provides attorney’s fees and even provides the OGCC lawyers the fees they collect from clients, all these violate the COA limitation on salaries and benefits, especially so, Santa Banana, now that the OGCC and its staff have control of all government corporations that have even increased from 59 in 1983 to 732 to date.
This will open graft and corruption in favor of the OGCC.
Thus, my gulay, President Marcos would do well not just to veto the bill giving excessive compensations to the OGCC and its staff, but to abolish all together the OGCC and have all the lawyers of the OGCC transferred to other departments where lawyers are urgently needed.
The OGCC has become a source of corruption by government lawyers. This must be stopped right away.
My nephew, Atty. Rudolph Philip Jurado, who was the OGCC chief from April 2017 to May 2018, refused to accept any allowances from their almost 700 Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, Government Financial Institutions and Water Districts clients.
These allowances, according to Atty. Jurado, “could reach as much as P800,000 a month or even more.”
With all these reasons and arguments, President Marcos would do well to just abolish the OGCC and its staff to prevent the fiscal risk that will result and save billions of pesos.