By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — The Senate approved on third and final reading of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) Charter, which aims to help adapt and strengthen the agency to the changing times by standardizing and rationalizing the current compensation framework of its personnel.
With 21 affirmative votes, no negative vote, and no abstention, the Senate passed during its hybrid plenary session Monday, May 23, 2022, Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2490 or An Act Strengthening the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) by Rationalizing and Further Professionalizing its Organization, Upgrading Positions, and Appropriating Funds Therefor, sponsored by Sen. Richard J. Gordon.
SBN 2490 mandates the OGCC to be the statutory counsel and principal law office of all government corporations. All government corporations shall refer to the OGCC for all important legal opinions and advice; contracts for review; and cases that need representation before regular courts, quasi-judicial bodies, administrative agencies, and arbitral tribunals.
With the OGCC as statutory counsel, government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) will be able to generate savings since government corporations will not need to engage private lawyers to address their legal requirements.
Under this measure, officials and employees of the OGCC who are entrusted with the legal concerns of the GOCCs will now be properly equipped and adequately compensated under the OGCC charter.
The new OGCC charter paves the way for the upgrading of positions, salaries, and benefits of agency’s employees, making it at par with their counterparts in the Judiciary, The Office of the Solicitor General, and the Court of Appeals.