MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin barged into the top 10 highest-paid officials in government for 2018, with his total income for that year reaching close to P11 million.
He ranked No. 9 with his P10,919,348.11 in salaries and allowances for the previous year.
Since 2009, Bersamin and retired justice now Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr have been the only two justices in the top 10 highest-paid government officials. Velasco ranked 6th in 2017 with P9,589,126. (READ: Why don’t we know enough about Supreme Court justices’ wealth?)
The top 10 for 2018 consists of the same names from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, with Solicitor General Jose Calida just dropping to top 6. In 2017, Calida became the first solicitor general in years to be in the top 5. He was at top 4 in 2017.
See table below:
Supreme Court earners
Bersamin’s government income grew by P4 million from P6,814,358 in 2017 to P10.9 million in 2018.
The jump can be attributed mainly to his Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA), Additional Compensation (AdCom), and honorarium.
Bersamin got a collective P744,000 from those 3 benefits in 2017, but in 2018, this grew to P3.27 million, which is more than his basic salary of P2.46 million in the same year.
It was the same for Velasco in 2017. He received a collective amount of P2.79 million from PERA, AdCom, and honorarium, which was more than his P1.94 million basic salary for that year.
Bersamin’s allowances as justice, and as member of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal and Senate Electoral Tribunal remained at P2.050 million. This is separate from the PERA, AdCom, and Honorarium benefits.
The 2nd highest paid justice in the Supreme Court after Bersamin is Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo at top 24 with P8.316 million.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is at No. 25 with P8.305 million, and Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta – a potential chief justice frontrunner after Bersamin – is at No. 26 with P8.209 million.
Unlike Bersamin, Del Castillo, Carpio, and Peralta only received P744,000 in PERA, AdCom and honorarium, on top of their basic salary of roughly the same amount.
Summaries of the justices’ 2018 Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth have not been released by the Supreme Court. In the 2017 SALN summaries, Carpio is shown to have earned the most that year with his government income accounting for less than half of the jump.