By Eimor Santos, September 30, 2022; CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 30) — The commission that oversees government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) on Friday promised a more proactive approach in preventing the exorbitant use of funds and holding erring officials and employees accountable.

During a Senate hearing on the proposed ₱245.7 million budget of the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) for 2023, the agency’s chairman, former Sandiganbayan Justice Alex Quiroz disclosed the plan to establish a field office in every GOCC to police “dissipation.”

“In short, paglulustay [waste],” Quiroz said. “We have to avoid that. At least [adopt] some measures, if not to eradicate, to reduce it.”

As part of a medium-term strategy against corruption, Quiroz said the GCG is also studying the pursuit of criminal, administrative, and civil cases against those involved.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who presided over the budget hearing, recalled it was the need for a watchdog that led to the creation of the GCG in 2011.

“It was a clamor of the public because of the exorbitant bonuses that were given without any reason by the GOCCs. Everyone was doing their own reward system at that time,” Gatchalian said.

He also called on the GCG to work on reducing government subsidies needed by the GOCCs, and look into entities that have incurred huge losses.

According to the GCG, six GOCCs were abolished over the past 10 years. Twenty-five other GOCCs are in various levels of liquidation, and the commission said it is finding ways to fast track the process.

Quiroz also disclosed an ongoing review on the Philippine Pharma Procurement, a subsidiary of the Philippine International Trading Corporation. The PITC, controversial for the parking of funds, is next in line, said Johann Barcena, Director IV of the GCG.

The review is meant “to see the performance and whether or not we are still going to retain such company within the national government or the GOCC,” Barcena said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“It’s in connection really to the performance of the GOCC in particular so the parking of funds of a GOCC is just one of the items that we need to look at,” he added.

The Senate committee on finance has endorsed the GCG budget to the plenary, but Quiroz is still appealing for an additional P50 million to help improve the monitoring and evaluation of GOCCs.