Overwhelming Majority Supporting New Law to Govern GOCCs — Survey

An overwhelming majority of Filipinos is supporting the passage of a new law seeking to curb the abuses in government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), according to a nationwide survey conducted by pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Results of the commissioned survey on strengthening the oversight of GOCCs conducted from November 27-30 but were only released last week showed that seven out of 10 Filipinos or 73% of the respondents agreeing to a congressional action that a new law be passed that will reform state-run companies, particularly in granting unconscionable salaries and perks to directors, trustees and employees.

Only 8% of the respondents did not see a need to pass a new law, while 18% were undecided. About 1% either answered “don’t know” or refused to answer.

Senator Franklin Drilon, principal author of Senate Bill No. 2640 or the GOCC Governance Act of 2011, said the survey indicates the growing public clamor to rationalize state firms.

“We need this law to regulate GOCCs—a majority of which had enjoyed a virtually unregulated environment in years,” said Drilon, also the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that exposed the irregularities in state enterprises.

Agreement with a new legislation is “strong in all areas,” SWS said, registering 81% approval in Metro Manila, 72% in Luzon, 77% in the Visayas and 67% in Mindanao.

Six percent disagreed with the proposal in Metro Manila, 8% each in Luzon and the Visayas and 9% in Mindanao. Indecision was 12% in Metro Manila, 20% in Luzon, 15% in the Visayas and 22% in Mindanao.

According to locale, 75% endorsed the measure in urban areas while 72% backed the bid in rural areas.

According to socio-economic class, meanwhile, approval is highest among class ABC, with 76%. Seventy-three percent and 72% approved of the proposal among classes D and E, respectively.

By sex, 74% of the female and 73% of the male respondents agreed with the enactment of a law. By age group, agreeing were 70% (18-24 years old), 73% (25-34 years old), 75% (35-44 years old), 71% (45-54 years old) and 76% (55 years and up).

Respondents were asked: “There should be a law that will strengthen the oversight over the activities of GOCCs.”

The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adult respondents, with a margin of error of plus/minus 3% at 95% confidence level.