COA Report on Salaries and Allowances: A Report on Money Mugged from the Workers

Recently, the Commission on Audit (COA) published the list of officials from different government units who received the highest salaries for the year 2013.

COA released their Report on Salaries and Allowances (ROSA) FY 2013 which shows the names of principal officers and members of different Government-Owned and/or Controlled Corporations (GOCC) and officials from equivalent National Government Agencies (NGA). The report shows that most of the primary officials of GOCCs and NGAs receive millions and millions of pesos in exchange, apparently, for their ‘service’ through their positions in the government.

In the said annual report, officers mostly from Water Districts, GOCCs, and NGAs garnered the top posts. The compensation these officials received, are based on how many months they have been active in their particular mother units in the recent year, and were categorized into basic salaries, various allowances, bonuses, and benefits. The wage received by the top 10 highest paid officials range from P7.4 million for the Deputy Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Vicente Aquino, to a sky-rocketing P12.1 million for GSIS General Manager, Robert Vergara. Other officials who did not make it to the top notchers received equally high amounts of pesos, in hundreds of thousands if not also in millions.

Tax Payers Earn Less, Work More

The salaries of government officials and employees come from the blood and sweat of Filipino workers. While these officials enjoy handful of money from the workers for their less than 8-hours of work a day, the latter need to toil inside factories, for more than 12-hours, before they receive loose change for their hefty day’s work.

As workers suffer from a very low daily wage of P315, absence of inhumane benefits and allowances, among others, primary officials from anti-worker, labor-related government agencies accept more or less P100,000 a day. In a table prepared by the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (Solidarity of Workers in Southern Tagalog – May First Movement or PAMANTIK-KMU) referring to the 2013 ROSA, it is shown how high these officials are compensated for backing up capitalists in juicing profit from workers.

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Workers Scream Pay Back, Give Back Stolen Money

The stated and unstated principal officials and members of GOCCs and officers from different NGAs will never experience high amounts of salaries if not for the workers. And yet, these government officials act as if earning sums of money amidst the daily crisis for workers are but normal scenarios.

The millions these officials accept every year may seem too little compared to the money higher and more corrupt government officials achieve. But a hundred thousand peso daily salary is never too little compared to sunken wages workers receive everyday.

According to workers in Southern Tagalog, who, by worsening crisis, agonize under negative salary balance due to numerous and arbitrary monetary excises from their monthly wages, “We demand pay back, those money should be ours. They do not deserve the fruits of our labor.” Southern Tagalog workers believe that this kind of wage system is unjust and should be ended. Anti-worker and anti-people operations and functions should never be rewarded by any amount. Savage officials should never be paid for oppressing, robbery, and enslavement to the workers and their rights.

Workers demand that these officials and their corresponding government units serve truthfully for the rights and welfare of the workers in exchange for the millions of pesos they squeeze-out from them. Or else would they pay a debt they’d wish they never had indebted.

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