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Bangko Sentral Gov. Diokno is Highest Paid Gov't Official in 2020

Here's why it's always the central bank governor.
by Erwin Colcol
May 12, 2021
Photo/s: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

(UPDATED) Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno was the highest-paid government official in 2020 while three of his deputies also made it to the top 10. It's a distinction earned previously by his predecessors, the late Nestor Espenilla Jr. and Amando Tetangco Jr.

Why is the Bangko Sentral Governor often the public servant with the fattest paycheck? It's because their salaries are not regulated by law.

The Report on Salaries and Allowances or ROSA is released to "complement the continuing thrust of the government for transparency and accountability for government funds, the Commission on Audit said.

This year, Diokno ranked two notches higher compared to his 2019 standing, data showed. He received a total income of P19.79 million in 2020 --- an increase of around P4.34 million from his P15.45 million total earnings in 2019.

As BSP governor, Diokno holds the most important levers in the economy. He determines how much money should circulate in the system, which determines how much interest you pay on debt and influences inflation or how fast consumer prices go up. The governor also has the power to prop up the peso when needed, albiet quietly so as not to rattle the markets.

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Diokno replaced 2019 ROSA topnotcher Higinio Macadaeg Jr., former president and CEO of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCBP), a government-owned and -controlled corporation who now placed ninth spot with a reported P13.22 million income.

Solicitor General Jose Calida remained second in the list, with P15.66 million reported income, dropping by P1.29 million from his 2019 earnings of P16.95 million.

Government Service Insurance System president and general manager Rolando Macasaet rose to fourth spot in the 2020 list from the 51st spot the previous year, with a total income of P15.26 million last year compared to P7.97 million the year prior.

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe placed fifth, with total earnings of P15.2 million, while former Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta placed seventh at P14.53 million.

Here's the list of the top 10 highest-paid government officials in 2020:

  1. BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno - P19.79 million
  2. Solicitor General Jose Calida - P15.66 million
  3. UCPB Executive Vice President Eulogio Catabran III - P15.46 million
  4. GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Macasaet - P15.26 million
  5. SC Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe - P15.2 million
  6. BSP Deputy Governor Maria Almasara Tuaño-Amador - P15.15 million
  7. Former Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta - P14.53 million
  8. BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier - P14.35 million
  9. Former UCPB President And CEO Higinio Macadaeg Jr. - P13.22 million
  10. BSP Senior Assistant Governor Dahlia Luna - P12.64 million.
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The 2020 Report on Salaries and Allowances (ROSA) details the salaries, allowances and benefits received by officials of GOCCs, national government agencies, and state colleges and universities. It does not include elected officials.

Apart from salaries, allowances and benefits, the ROSA also compiles the additional compensation/honorarium, bonuses, extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses, and other remunerations and emoluments received by these officials.

Why BSP, GOCC executives rank high

Officials from the BSP and GOCCs like the GSIS, have consistently ranked high in the annual list. One possible reason is because officials in these organizations are not covered by the Salary Standardization Law or SSL.

As heads of corporations that need to turn a profit, GOCC pay must be competitive with private sector counterparts.

The SSL outlines the salary to be received by officials and employees working in the government. Depending on their salary grade, civil servants receive different amounts of salary under the SSL.

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In the case of BSP governor, the central bank's charter provides that his salary is "fixed by the President of the Philippines at a sum commensurate to the importance and responsibility attached to the position."

GOCCs, on the other hand, are covered by the Compensation and Position Classification System, which is established by the Governance Commission for GOCCs and approved by the President of the Philippines.

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