Senator Chiz Escudero, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, delivers a privilege speech on the 2014 General Appropriations Bill, Tuesday morning. According to Escudero, the 2014 budget proposal, which includes funds for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction programs and projects in the amount of P70 billion, will also include specific funding for the rehabilitation of the Visayas on top of the existing calamity fund to be sourced from items which can be postponed in the 2014 national budget. (MNS photo)

Senator Chiz Escudero, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, delivers a privilege speech on the 2014 General Appropriations Bill, Tuesday morning. According to Escudero, the 2014 budget proposal, which includes funds for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction programs and projects in the amount of P70 billion, will also include specific funding for the rehabilitation of the Visayas on top of the existing calamity fund to be sourced from items which can be postponed in the 2014 national budget. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – From a high 157 government government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) is aiming to further trim down its number to only 88 corporations by next year.

”Our aim is we’re hoping by the next year we would be down to 88 well-run GOCCs that can be the cornerstone, hopefully of being able to promote a sovereign well fund by which the government can move forward,” GCG chairman Cesar Villanueva said in a Senate budget hearing on Monday.

Actually, Villanueva said from the list of 157 GOCCs in 2011, the number has already been reduced to 116 under the coverage of the GCG.

The GCG chief, however, clarified to the members of the Senate finance committee chaired by Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero that 20 GOCCs classified as inactive remain under the supervision of the commission.

”They are not yet abolished. Some of them are in the process of being abolished. In fact, they continue to be in our list, continue to oversee them and some of them, we have recommended for official abolition,” Villanueva explained.

Villanueva said 12 GOCCs have been classified as abolished including three linked to the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam. They are Zamboanga National Agricultural College-Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC), Philippine Forest Corporation, and National Agri-Business Corp or NABCOR.

Other dissolved GOCCs since the enactment of Republic Act 10149 in 2011 include Bataan Technology Park Inc. (BTPI), Cottage Industry Technology Center (CITC), Human Settlements Development Corp. (HSDC), Philippine Agriculture Development Commercial Corp.(PADCC), San Carlos Fruits Corp. (SCFC), Philippine Fruits and Vegetables Industry Inc.(PFVII), Southern Philippines Development Authority, ACC Subic Corp., and PNOCC Shipping and Transport Corp.

Villanueva said the GCG has already recommended 14 more for abolition and six GOCCs for privatization.

He said one of the GOCCs recommended for privatization was the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp. (IBC-13) despite of the legal obstacles.

”In fact, we had a summit two weeks ago with PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office), DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines) and IBC-13 board. They come to a manner by which we’ll able to privatize it despite of the fact that there are legal obstacles,” he said.

Escudero inquired the status of the IBC-13 privatization “because we will be appropriating money for IBC-13 to pay, by way of subsidy to GOCC, for the unpaid SSS, GSIS and some employees’ benefits.”

Due to reforms implemented by the current administration of President Benigno Aquino III in the GOCCs, Villanueva said the compliance rate among the GOCCs has increased from 31 percent in 2011 to 64 percent last year.

Villanueva said a total of GOCCs are up for rationalization particularly the Government Financial Institutions (GFIs) including the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Next year, Villanueva said the GCG will pursue ‘decoupling’ of GOCCs that have both regulatory and proprietary functions.

These are, he said, are the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and National Food Authority (NFA).

Villanueva said the GCG is eyeing full roll-out of the Compensation Position and Classification System (CPCS) to be competitive with the private sector in recruiting the right talent.

”We are also seeking full roll-out of the ICRS (Integrated Corporate Reporting System (ICRS): enhanced performance monitoring and transparency,” he said.

The GCG submitted a proposed 2015 budget amounting to Php102.29 million which Senator Cynthia Villar recommended for plenary consideration and approval. (MNS)