By Julito G. Rada
The Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations is seeking to strengthen its mandates through amendments to Republic Act 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act of 2011.
“In order to efficiently operate as a regulatory body for the GOCC sector, RA 10149 is proposed to be amended to address issues and clarify and strengthen the powers and functions of the GCG,” GCG chairman Alex Quiroz said Tuesday.
The GCG is a creation of RA 10149. The agency is set to celebrate its 12th anniversary on June 6, 2023.
Several issues have been raised regarding the scope and even legality of the GCG’s powers and functions under its Charter. On May 25, 2023, Quiroz and GCG Commissioner Gideon Mortel met with House Speaker Ferdinand Romualdez to discuss the proposed amendments.
Mortel said there were already draft bills to be submitted to the House leadership as he discussed it with the Paranaque First District Rep. Edwin Olivarez, the chairman of the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization.
The GCG in December 2022 also submitted its proposed amendments to Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises.
Among the salient points of the proposed amendments is the standardization of the definition of GOCCs.
For continuity and efficiency in the discharge of its mandates, the GCG also seeks to fix the terms of office of the GCG chairman and commissioners and create an office for a GCG executive director. To strengthen its oversight powers, the agency is asking Congress for subpoena and contempt powers as well as investigative and disciplinary powers.
It is also seeking express power to consolidate, rationalize, and integrate GOCCs into national government agencies.
The agency seeks to be granted the authority to determine the appropriate incentive programs for all employees affected by any rationalization, reorganization, merger, consolidation, integration into an NGA, abolition or privatization of GOCCs.
Quiroz said a study of the profiles of GOCCs under the GCG indicates that some GOCCs have functions that are duplicative of what is already being carried out by other national government agencies or GOCCs.
“We can recommend to the Office of the President that it would be economical for those GOCCs which are not financially viable, but are performing vital public service, to be converted into or transferred to national government agencies,” Quiroz said.