Press Release
March 5, 2014


In the hopes of boosting the Office of the Ombudsman in fulfilling its mandate, Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III has filed two separate bills that grant it fiscal autonomy and increase the benefits of its employees respectively.

Senate Bill 2140 proposes the grant of benefits and gratuities to aid employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, while Senate Bill 2141 seeks to grant the agency a 30 percent share of the assets forfeited by the government under R.A. 1379, or the Forfeiture Law.

"Considering the critical nature of its mandate, the Office of the Ombudsman's resources should be enhanced to allow it to effectively and efficiently fulfill such mandate," Sen. Guingona said.

The senator added that the Office of the Ombudsman must be able to entice only the best and brightest to join the force, and one sure way of doing that is to enhance the benefits of its employees.

SB 2140 amends R.A.6770 to include prosecution, investigation, legal and administrative staff in receiving salaries and benefits, which shall not be less than those given to comparable positions in any office in the Government.

Additionally, upon retirement, a lawyer in the Office of the Ombudsman who has rendered at least 15 years of service in the Government with at least 5 years continuously rendered in the Office of the Ombudsman shall be entitled to the same retirement benefits and gratuities enjoyed by any judge or government lawyer with the same salary grade.

SB 2141 seeks to provide additional funds to the agency and render it fiscally autonomous by granting the Office of the Ombudsman 30 percent share of the assets forfeited by the Government, provided that 40 percent of such fund shall be utilized to finance the acquisition, construction, maintenance, and repair of office facilities and equipment, 30 percent for capacity-building activities, and 30 percent for general operations.

"The Office of the Ombudsman is the people's ultimate vanguard against graft and corruption, and illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient acts or omissions in government. It is the premier government institution that has the essential duty to uphold responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency in government. These proposed measures will boost the agency's efficiency in discharging its mandate without excuse and impediment," Sen. Guingona added.

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