Ambrosio R. Villorente
Major, Major Abuses
Major, Major Abuses
One government office which officials are abusive and very greedy is the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO). This office is a de facto, disguise “Philippine Consulate” in Taipei, Taiwan.
Any member of its Board of Directors, after serving for only two (2) years can leave the job and collect P1.2 million or P600,000 retirement fee per year of service. Moreover, this is not a part of their monthly honorarium and allowances.
Who approved this gargantuan compensation? They, themselves. There are many other government owned and controlled corporations which have been practising these: appropriating public funds for their own self aggrandizement.
But everything must end. And Executive Order No. 07, Series of 2010 ended it. Those concerned must obey this order signed on September 8 effective immediately until Dec. 31, 2010.
The Executive Order President Aquino signed also stopped the increases in the salaries and other benefits of board members, executives and employees who are exempted from Salary Standardization Law.
According to Sen. Franklin Drilon, MECO is a GOCC which has not been subjected to COA audit. It has not remitted any money to the government even if the Taiwan Office on February 5, 2008 to November 9, 2009 remitted US$ 3.985 million to Manila. There is no official, who is in the know what happen to that money.
MECO was formed in 1975 to facilitate the Philippines–Taiwan relations after the Philippines forged diplo-matic relation with the Peoples’ Republic of China. Due to “one China Policy”, the Philippine lost its diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
But the Philippines and Taiwan are trading partners hence, MECO is organized to promote trade, investments, tourism, labor, scientific and cultural cooperation with Taiwan. It issues Philippine Visas and provides legal and consular services. MECO officials consider it a non profit and non stock private corporation under Philippine Laws” as shown in its worldwide website.
I cannot believe them. Those officials had been arrogating unto themselves the functions and funds that belong to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) because the government officials concerned to monitor and supervise MECO had been sleeping on their jobs while MECO officials are feasting on the peoples’ money.
Issuance of visas and collecting fees, issuance of legal and consular services are DFA’s. But what are the MECO officials doing? They are collecting fees. With the money, the BOD is appropriating it in accordance with their annual budget. They are disbursing the money without congressional scrutiny and approval.
According to Sen. Drilon, there are 143 GOCCs which owe the government an estimated sum of P37 billion in unremitted dividends in 2008.
In 2009, the government received P13.3 billion dividends from 32 GOCCs.
Will the Executive Order No. 7 cover the Metro Kalibo Water District? This is one local GOCC that concerns the Aklanons. Where will MKWD remit dividends if it is gaining in its operations? Will it remit to the LGU Aklan or LGU Kalibo? This is interesting to know and it is worthy to learn it. Is MKWD submitting its Annual Report to the LGUs where it is operating? To the office of the Provincial Governor of Aklan?
MKWD must furnish its Annual Report and other pertinent reports to the LGUs of Aklan. This is necessary for the people to know to appreciate its excellent services they are providing the people. /MP