7 DFA officials among highest paid in gov't – COA
MANILA, Philippines – Most of the top 10 highest paid government officials in 2014 are from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), says the Commission on Audit (COA)'s 2014 Report on Salaries and Allowances (ROSA) released Friday, July 31.
Out of the 8,298 public officials in the report, Philippine ambassador to China Erlinda Basilio came on top, earning P16.44 million in 2014.
Six other DFA officials made it to the top 10:
- Ambassador Erlinda Basilio – P16.44 million
- Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) President and General Manager Robert Vergara – P12.57 million
- Ambassador Enrique Manalo – P12.34 million
- Ambassador Lourdes Yparraguirre – P11.75 million
- Consul General Maria Teresa Taguiang – P10.9 million
- Ambassador Esteban Conejos Jr – P10.7 million
- Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier – P10.56 million
- Ambassador Maria Cleofe Natividad – P9.86 million
- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr – P9.853 million
- Development Bank of the Philippines Executive Vice President Anthony Robles – P9.851 million
The ROSA covers the pay of cabinet members, court officials, and officers of government corporations. It excludes the pay of the president, lawmakers, and local government officials.
While employees from DFA are also covered by the Salary Standardization Law, DFA said what may have bloated the figures of the officials in the list is the COA's inclusion of the living quarters allowance in its computation.
The department said this is unfair, since diplomats who live in posts abroad have to pay higher rent.
For instance, Basilio's basic salary is P947,352, with an additional P146,318 as "bonus, incentives and benefits". But the DFA allocated to Basilio P15.35 million in allowances since she is assigned to China – one of the most sensitive posts.
Compare this to Vergara of GSIS, who ranked second and received a basic salary of P7.4 million. He also received the following:
- P498,000 – honorarium/personal economic relief allowance
- P2.154 million – allowances (for sitting in the governing boards of 4 government corporations)
- P1.83 million – bonus, incentives and benefits
- P657,660 – others
- P25,000 – discretionary expenses
Before DFA allowances were included in the computation, executives of government-owned or controlled corporations dominated the top 10. – Rappler.com