GOCC regulator seeks power to levy sanctions via charter amendments

By Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson, Reporter

THE Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) said it will propose amendments to its charter next year which would give it the power to sanction the companies it oversees.

“We were created under Republic Act No. 10149 but there’s something missing in our charter. We don’t have coercive power; our powers are mostly advisory,” GCG Chairman Marius P. Corpus told reporters on Monday.

“If there are GOCCs (government-owned and -controlled corporations) that are underperforming and refusing to comply with our regulations, we don’t have any disciplinary authority,” he added.

Mr. Corpus said the amendments will give the GCG power to sanction GOCCs or their officials.

“We also intend to upgrade the positions in the GCG. Our staff is often pirated by other GOCCs. We are constrained as a regular National Government agency; compared to GOCCs, their benefits are better,” he added.

Mr. Corpus said the draft proposal will likely be submitted next year. “Might be too late to get an amendment now from the (current Congress). We’ll go through the process, and if it isn’t finished, we can have it refiled at the next Congress,” he added.

Earlier this year, the GCG proposed to be given the power to consolidate, rationalize, and integrate GOCCs into National Government agencies.

Meanwhile, Mr. Corpus said that the GCG is still studying the proposed merger of Land Bank of the Philippine (LANDBANK) and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

“It’s a big endeavor, very complicated. We tried to consult with the other National Government agencies. They all gave their comments, but considering the enormity of the endeavor, I said let’s be careful on this. They are asking for a timeline but if we give a timeline, that’s not advisable, (better) to be cautious and prudent about it,” he said.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno has said that the merger is expected to be completed by the first half of 2024.

“There are pros and cons. There are favorable comments and justifications, but there are also possible problems that may arise if the merger goes through. We are actually (organizing) technical working groups with other agencies concerned,” he added.

The merger, which would leave LANDBANK as the surviving entity, will create the sole authorized government depository bank.