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Senators can earn P5-M monthly - Miriam

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A senator can earn as much as P5 million monthly due to other sources aside from their official government salary, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago claimed Wednesday.

In her keynote speech at the 30th annual convention of the Philippine Blood Coordinating Council, Santiago said a senators' recorded salary of P 90,000 a month under the Salary Standardization Act is misleading since they receive income from other Senate funds.

Among the sources of extra income is chairmanship of an oversight committee or membership in the Commission on Appointments.

She said a senator who chairs two oversight committees earns an additional P70,000 while a member of seven oversight committees earns P210,000.

A senator who is a member of the Commission on Appointments will also get an extra P200,000.

Santiago added that the discretionary funds under the control of a senator could also range from P2.7 million to P4.5 million.

"If we add up all these sources of income, a senator could be making P4M to P5M monthly. And this does not include a kickback of 10% to 50% from the pork barrel," the feisty senator said.

In a press briefing last week, Senate majority floor leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr. said he also received an additional P200 million in pork barrel every year when he was a Senate President.

"My recollection, 'yung additional na PDAF [is for] being a Senate President," Enrile said at a televised press briefing. "Lahat ng naging Senate President merong additional."

Related story: Enrile on why he got extra P100-M pork: Ewan ko, that's the rule

Pork dashboard

Santiago also proposed that a government website should provide information on the range of a lawmaker's monthly income and all discretionary funds.

She also called for the creation of a government dashboard that would enable the public to track pork barrel projects discretionary funds of every public official.

This government dashboard should be part of the proposed Freedom of Information Act,  Santiago said.

"Access to information is necessary for self-preservation of the nation," she said in her speech.

 

ENRILE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT JUAN PONCE ENRILE MIRIAM SANTIAGO PHILIPPINE BLOOD COORDINATING COUNCIL SALARY STANDARDIZATION ACT SANTIAGO SENATE PRESIDENT SENATOR SENATOR MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO
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