In his column COCKTALES, Manila Standard Today writer and analyst Victor C. Agustin said that annual reports on government salaries indicate that Malacañang is giving bigger financial compensation to film directors than to the government’s top scientists, surgeons and educators of state-run schools.
Based on records of the Commission on Audit, the top three officials of the Film Development Council of the Philippines – an agency under the Office of the President – received higher salaries than the country’s foremost educators, such as the president of the University of the Philippines.
Data indicates that Briccio Santos, film council chairman, received over P2.4 million in 2013. Two executive directors underneath him, Teodoro Granados and Jose Miguel dela Rosa, were salaried P1.8 million and P1.7 million, respectively.
On the other hand, UP president Alfredo Pascual was paid P1.4 million in the same year. President of the Development Academy of the Philippines, Antonio Kalaw Jr, also received P1.4 million.
Santos, who is an award-winning indie film maker, received greater recompense than did the country’s leading scientists. Alumanda dela Rosa, director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute was paid P1.6 million; Rowena Cristina Guevarra; executive director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development received P1.4 million; Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development was given P1.5 million; and Patricio Faylon executive director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, P1.8 million.
The country’s chief medical officers of leading specialist hospitals fared no better; likewise earning less than the film industry officials.
Philippine Children’s Medical Center executive, Julius Lecciones received P1.4 million before taxes; his colleagues at the Philippine Heart Center, Manuel Chua Chiaco; and at Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Ruben Flores, were also paid the same amount.
This pay gap was already in existence during previous administrations.
Under Macapagal-Arroyo’s rule, 2009 film council chairman Rolando Atienza, received P1.4 million a year; whereas director of the Philippine Heart Center, Dr. Ludgerio Torres only bagged P774K in annual salary. Former executive director of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, now Health Secretary Enrique Ona was only paid P831K.