Senate approves bill strengthening OGCC  

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A BILL seeking to strengthen the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) was passed on third and final reading at the Senate on Monday.  

With 21 affirmative votes, the upper chamber unanimously approved Senate Bill 2490, which upgrades the rank and benefits of the agency’s officials and personnel as well as expands the human resource pool.   

The OGCC serves as the principal law office of all government-owned or controlled corporations, their subsidiaries, and government-acquired asset corporations.  

Under the proposed law, the government corporate counsel, who heads the office, will have the same rank, benefits, prerogatives and privileges as the presiding justice of the Court of Appeals.  

The deputy government corporate counsel and 12 assistant government corporate counsels responsible for assisting the chief counsel will receive the same rank, benefits, prerogatives and privileges as an associate justice of the appellate court.   

An official with a rank of government corporate attorney IV will have a team of 14 from 10, a GCA III with 19 from 14, GCA II with 20 from 17, and GCA I with 10 from 4. 

Personnel benefits and privileges, meanwhile, will include health care services, accident insurance, scholarships, provident fund, reimbursement of registration fees, training and seminar expenses, and retirement benefits, among others.   

Funding for benefits will be sourced from 5% of attorney’s fees given by the courts to client government corporations, 50% from special assessments collected from government corporations, and from all other income or revenues earned by the OGCC.  

The amount needed for upgrades provided by the act will be taken from the budget of the OGCC under the annual national budget.   

The House of Representatives passed their version of the bill in June last year. The bill will now be sent to the appropriate bicameral committee for consolidation. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan