OGCC abolition, merger with OSG opposed
The proposed abolition of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) by merging it with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) would only result in additional financial burden for the government, two state lawyers said on Sunday.
Pearl Sagmit, vice president for legal affairs of Clark Development Corp. (CDC), and Germain Lim, vice president for legal sector of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), added their voices to the growing number of government counsels opposing a bill seeking to abolish the OGCC and to
integrate it with the OSG.
Lim noted that government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) like PhilHealth had been represented by the OGCC in litigating cases against government entities, such as the Commission on Audit (COA), which were mandated to enlist the legal services of the OSG as the state’s primary law firm.
To avoid a conflict of interest scenario where OSG lawyers would have to represent both PhilHealth and COA in the same case, she said PhilHealth might have to hire external counsels to defend its interests before the courts.
The possibility of the government spending more was brought up at the Senate hearing on the planned abolition of the OGCC and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).
Director Gerald Janda of the Department of Budget and Management admitted that the OSG would need an annual budget of about P1.8 billion to take over the tasks of the OGCC and PCGG.