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Santiago bill seeks to bar public execs from charging pay of personal guards to gov’t

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02:53 PM August 13th, 2013

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August 13th, 2013 02:53 PM

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines— A bill prohibiting public officers and their families from charging to the government the salaries of their personal private security guards has been filed at the Senate.

Senate Bill No. 733 filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago “seeks to curb the practice among public officers of charging to the government the salaries of their personal/private security guards.”

The bill also provides that only the President and four other ranking government officials— the Vice President, the Chief Justice, Senate President and   Speaker – should be entitled to such number of private or personal security guards.

It would be unlawful, under the proposed measure, for any public officer or employee or any member of his family to:

         Charge to the government the salaries of his or his family’s personal or private security guards

         Directly or indirectly request or receive for himself or for his family, the services of private or personal security guards, from any person, agency, entity or corporation

         To accept or have any member of his family accept the services of private or personal security guards from any person, entity, agency or corporation

         And to directly or indirectly request or receive the services of private or personal security guards, for himself or for any member of his family, from any person, agency, entity or corporation

In filing the bill, Santiago pointed out that public funds must only be spent for an authorized public purpose.

“Public officers should lead modest lives. Most public officials do not need private security guards. In most cases, there is no serious threat to their lives, and having security guards have turned into a status symbol,” she said in her explanatory note of the b ill.

“Further, public funds must only be spent for an authorized public purpose. Hence, public officers should be prohibited from charging to the government the salaries of their personal or private security guards,” she added.

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