GOCC dividends swell coffers by ₧53.1B

DIVIDENDS remitted by state-run firms to government coffers have reached P53.1 billion from January to September this year, the Department of Finance said.

Finance Assistant Secretary Soledad Emilia Cruz told reporters in an interview that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) topped the list of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) that remitted the highest dividends, accounting for P15.9 billion. This is equivalent to almost 30 percent of the total amount of dividends remitted by all GOCCs during the period.

Under Republic Act 7656 or the Dividends Law, GOCCs are required to declare and remit at least 50 percent of their annual net earnings as cash, stock or property dividends to the national government.

Trailing BSP on the list is the National Transmission Corporation with P8.32 billion in dividend remittances, followed by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (P7.1 billion), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (P6 billion), and Philippine Ports Authority (P3.76 billion).

Completing the top 10 GOCCs with highest dividend remittances are Bases Conversion and Development Authority (P1.72 billion), Philippine Reclamation Authority (P1.7 billion), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (P1.21 billion), Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation (P1 billion), and National Power Corporation (P900 million).

Dividends remitted by 57 GOCCs last year reached P157 billion, the highest amount ever collected since the implementation of the Dividends Law in 1994.

Of the P157 billion, three-fourths or P119.1 billion partly funded the social amelioration program that the government implemented to cushion the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s poorest household and other vulnerable sectors. This amount also contributed to the government’s unprogrammed revenues.

In April this year, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III proposed increasing the mandated dividend remittances of GOCCs to the national treasury from the current 50 percent to at least 75 percent of their net earnings in a bid to raise funds for a possible third economic stimulus bill or Bayanihan 3.

Dominguez, however, told senators in September this year that the government’s “healthy” tax collections and inflows from dividends of GOCCs are still “insufficient” to fund a deficit-neutral P175-billion Bayanihan 3 or the third stimulus package.

While they have yet to find counterpart funding for Bayanihan 3, Dominguez said having the third stimulus package is still “not out of the question.”

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