PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has issued an order suspending some provisions in the Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) for government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) contained in an order issued by his predecessor, former President Benigno S. C. Aquino III.

Mr. Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) 36, signed last July 28 and released yesterday, repealed Section 6 of Mr. Aquino’s EO 203 authorizing additional incentives outside the CPCS. It also scrapped the “early retirement incentive in addition to retirement or separation benefits under existing laws.”

“(T)here is a need to further study and review the compensation of GOCCs and eliminate any excessive, unauthorized, illegal and/or unconscionable allowances, incentives and benefits,” EO 36 reads.

“Well, this problem pertaining to the compensation of GOCC officers and employees has been nagging for quite sometime. They have been complaining about their salaries being or lagging behind, let’s say the national government agencies. So it was really the right time to issue this executive order,” Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra told reporters yesterday.

The President, in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24, urged Congress to make the bureaucracy leaner and more efficient through the passage of “The Act Rightsizing the National Government to improve Public Service Institute.”

He also warned GOCCs that he will not allow any more salary increase.

“For the (GOCCs), you too. The implementation of the existing Salary Standardization Law (SSL) pending the review in the Compensation and Position Classification System, it’s excessive, extravagant, and unconscionable,” Mr. Duterte said during the SONA.

“Salaries and allowances, incentives, benefits and bonuses across the government-owned and controlled corporations at this time increases will have to pass by my office; and I am not inclined to increase your allowances, bonuses and salaries at this time. No more,” he added.

Sought for elaboration on the President’s pronouncement, Mr. Guevarra said: “Perhaps it’s the GCG (Governance Commission for GOCCs) which is in a better position to give details as to which GOCCs give out excessive bonuses, allowances. But for now, we do not have the data as to which GOCCs and which allowances we are referring to here.”

The GCG is tasked to come up with the implementing rules and regulations of the EO within 30 days of the directive’s effectivity.

Under EO 36, GOCCs covered by the SSL “shall adopt the Modified Salary Schedule,” while SSL-exempt GOCCs “shall have the option to either maintain their current compensation framework or subject to the approval of the GCG, adopt the Modified Salary Schedule,” as interim measures with effectivity retroactive to Jan. 1 this year.

At the same time, Mr. Duterte’s order guarantees that there will be no diminution in the authorized salaries of incumbent officers and employees.

It also retains Section 2 of EO 203 regarding Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) and Collective Negotiation Agreements (CNAs). — Jil Danielle M. Caro