Lacson contradicts PACC exec: P100,000 cash gift not nominal
MANILA, Philippines — A P100,000 cash gift is not a minor amount for government officials and employees to receive without violating anti-graft laws in the country, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday, refuting the pronouncement of the government’s anti-corruption commission official.
According to Lacson, P100,000 is “too big” to be considered nominal. He said his office is studying what could be deemed a nominal amount, proposing that it should only be five percent of a public servant’s monthly pay.
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica earlier said that P100,000 may be considered an “insignificant” gift or token since it may be equivalent to a month’s salary of a government official.
“Napakalaki yata ng P100,000 para sabihing nominal… Ang nakikita namin siguro maglagay tayo ng relative to base pay. So ang inaaral namin ano ang figure na pwede i-define as nominal,” Lacson said in an interview over dzBB.
“Pwede natin sabihing 5% ng base pay. Huwag ang take-home pay kasi kung sinama mo ang commission sa pork barrel napakalaki noon. Dapat base pay lang, kung ano ang base pay ng kawani ng gobyerno, ‘yun lang ang pagbabasehan, ‘yan ang base na pagbabasehan ng numero,” he added.
For example, Lacson noted, if the base pay of a government official is P200,000, five percent of that is P10,000, which could be considered as a nominal amount.
“‘Yan ang pwedeng definition ng nominal. Kung nasa P6,000 o P7,000 [ang suweldo], ang 5% noon mas mababa, sa P350. Puwede i-define na ganoon,” he pointed out.
The senator also noted that giving or receiving gifts must be limited to only during occasions like birthdays and Christmas as it should not be connected to the work or performance of a government official or employee.
“Huwag ang regalo na may connection sa trabaho. Halimbawa natulungan mo biktima ng robbery-holdup, na-recover ang hinoldap, reregaluhan ka, bawal ‘yan. Maski anong regalo dapat bawal din kasi ibig sabihin may strings attached ‘yan,” he said.
“Pero kung ang regalo may okasyon, halimbawa Pasko o birthday ng kawani ng gobyerno, hindi naman siguro masamang tingnan kung mga kaibigan niya magregalo, pero wala namang hinihinging kapalit o walang nagawa ang opisyal para magregalo ang tao,” Lacson added. /kga