Duterte vetoes measure strengthening Office of the Solicitor General

Published March 15, 2019, 4:18 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has thumbed down the proposed law which seeks to strengthen the powers of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), citing problems with its provisions on employee compensation, benefits.

In his veto message, Duterte said signing the law may have adverse effects on the entire bureaucracy as it may make it appear that the government was favoring the OSG over other offices.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Barangay Summit on Good Governance Region 11, held at the RMC Petro Gazz Arena in Davao City on December 18, 2018. (KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

“While I support the strengthening of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and value the work of the men and women in the OSG, as head of the Executive branch, I am duty-bound to consider the subject bill not just in terms of its possible favorable effects on the OSG and its personnel, but also its impact on the entire government bureaucracy,” Duterte’s message read.

Duterte said he was apprehensive that some provisions granting benefits beyond the current compensation framework for other government offices may prove to be too onerous to the government.

“The new benefits granted, in addition to the benefits enjoyed by other government offices, would erode the National Government’s thrust to standardize and rationalize the current compensation framework in the bureaucracy,” he said.

“It will create too much disparity and inequality among the public servants in the Executive Branch,” he added.

“It will undermine the principle of ‘equal pay for work of equal value,'” he continued.

The President urged Congress to prioritize reviewing this measure once again so that the shared objective of strengthening the OSG would be realized without undermining other equally vital fiscal and policy considerations.