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Bangko Sentral governor, execs, DOJ’s Remulla  are highest paid in gov’t – COA

By Jeanne Michael Penaranda

MANILA — Officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas have dominated anew the Commission on Audit (COA)’s annual list of highest paid government officials, with BSP Governor Eli Remolona Jr. topping the list with a net pay of P35.48 million last year.

Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla, meanwhile, is the highest paid Cabinet member, according to COA.

Based on COA’s “2023 Report on Salaries and Allowances” or ROSA, uploaded on its website , Remolona’s net pay grew by P29.3 million or 474 percent from the P6.18 million net pay he received in 2022 where he was not even in the top 20 but at 132nd.

The COA’s breakdown showed that Remolona’s net pay for 2023 included P5.97 million in basic salary as BSP governor for six months (July to December) and P3.3 million in basic salary as BSP Monetary Board member for six months (January to June); P11.7 million in allowances; P10.01 million in bonus, incentives and benefits; P2 million in discretionary and extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses (EME); P24,000 in additional compensation and honorarium; and additional P2.47 million from “prior years’ adjustment.

Remolona took the top spot from his predecessor, former BSP governor Felipe Medalla, who was relegated to second spot with a net pay of P28.05 million from P34.17 million in 2022.

Medalla ended his term as BSP governor on July 2, 2023 and was immediately replaced by Remolona who is set to serve a six-year term until July 2029.

Justice Secretary Remulla received the highest salary and allowances among Cabinet members in 2023 with over P7 million, the COA said.

Based on the COA’s 2023 Report on Salaries and Allowances Received by Principal Officers and Members of the Governing Boards of Government Corporations and their Subsidiaries, and by Secretaries, Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries and Other Officials of Equivalent Rank of the National Government Agencies released by state auditors, Remulla is the highest paid among Cabinet members with P7.07 million, followed by Special Assistant to the President 2 with the rank of Secretary Antonio Lagdameo, Jr. with P6.98 million.

Placing third was Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. of the Department of Science and Technology with P6 million, followed by Department of Public Works and Highways chief Manuel Bonoan with P5 million.

Presidential Assistant 2 Leo Magno, who is also of Secretary rank, ranked fifth with P4.96 million.

Rounding up the top 10 highest Cabinet members were:

  • Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma with P4.93 million
  • Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla with P4.758 million
  • Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan Uy with P4.750 million
  • Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo with P4.7 million and
  • Social Welfare and Development chief Rex Gatchalian with P4.68 million. 

Finance chief Benjamin Diokno barely missed the top 10 list with P4.678 million to place 11th, followed by Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Jose Acuzar with P4.671 million.

Other Cabinet members who earned over P4 million in a year include:

  • Budget and Management chief Amenah Pangandaman with P4.66 million 
  • Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista with P4.648 million
  • Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III with P4.646 million
  • Secretary Cheloy Garafil of the Presidential Communications Office with P4.63 million
  • Secretary/ Presidential Adviser on Legislative Affairs Mark Mendoza of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office with P4.57 million
  • Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco with P4.56 million
  • Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Loyzaga with P4.51 million
  • Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority with P4.5 million
  • Secretary Guiling Mamondiong of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos with P4.48 million
  • Interior and Local Government chief Benjamin Abalos, Jr. with P4.45 million
  • Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual with P4.39 million and
  • Secretary Lope Santos III of the National Anti-Poverty Commission with P4.18 million. (Jeanne Michael Penaranda)

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