Senator Franklin Drilon on Monday lauded President Benigno C. Aquino III's signing into law of the GOCC Governance Act of 2011 that seeks to reform the operations of state-owned enterprises and curbing the abuses particularly on excessive bonuses and allowances.
"This will set the framework for reforms in a major sector of our economy. We are confident that we can harness GOCCs to perform effectively and efficiently to contribute to national development," Drilon, principal author and sponsor of the measure, said.
"We must exact transparency and accountability from our public officials, who have not faithfully discharged their duties as managers of public enterprises designed to contribute to national progress," he added, noting that the GOCC Governance Act of 2011 is the first major reform law that this Congress had approved.
The newly approved legislation largely tracks President Aquino's reform agenda and anti-corruption campaign, with the chief executive exposing during his State of the Nation Address the scandalously high compensation equivalent to 36 months provided by the Arroyo administration to its officials at the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System despite a dismal performance in the recent years.
Drilon had taken concrete steps to improve the operations of state firms, starting at exposing the unconscionable perks received by directors, trustees and employees of GOCCs and finding ways to instill transparency and discipline among government corporations.
The bill creates a Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) which shall be composed of five members—chairman with the rank of Cabinet secretary and two members with the rank of undersecretary to be appointed by the President—and the Budget and Finance secretaries as ex-officio members. The commission shall develop a new position and classification system that will apply to all officers and employees of GOCCs, whether covered by the Salary Standardization Law or exempt from it.
Members of the board of directors or trustees and officers of state firms have the legal obligation to act in good faith in all the dealings with the property and monies of the GOCC. Any board member or officer found to have benefited from the GOCC excess benefit or profit shall be subject to restitution without prejudice to any administrative, civil or criminal case.
Drilon expects the law to become effective 15 days after its publication or by July 1, 2011.