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Solon: GOCC cash dividends can help fund Bayanihan 3

April 25, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 248 views

ADDITIONAL cash dividends from government-owned or-controlled corporations (GOCCs) can help fund the Bayanihan 3 bill that seeks to stimulate the economy with P420 billion in subsidies to families, businesses, workers, farmers as well as students and teachers adversely impacted by the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) crisis, Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas said on Sunday.

“Right now, under the law – Republic Act 7656 – GOCCs are required to declare as cash dividends and remit to the national treasury at least 50 percent of their (prior year’s) net earnings,” Gullas, a member of the House committee on appropriations, said.

“However, under the same law, the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, may increase the dividend payout to any rate higher than 50 percent for all covered GOCCs. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, a number of GOCCs are still making good money and are a position to pay out incremental dividends to the national treasury,” Gullas said.

Gullas cited the case of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which has been swamped by private corporations applying and paying for new licenses to establish digital banking and electronic money platforms, amid the dramatic shift to online transactions.

The Bayanihan 3 bill seeks to provide P420 billion in financial support, broken down as follows:

· P108 billion in social amelioration for households;

· P100 billion in capacity-building assistance for badly affected businesses in critical economic sectors;

· P70 billion in aid for farmers;

· P52 billion in wage subsidies for workers in small businesses;

· P30 billion in grants to displaced workers;

· P30 billion in internet access allowances for students and teachers;

· P25 billion for COVID-19 treatment and vaccines; and

· P5 billion for the rehabilitation of communities distressed by recent typhoons and floods.

A total of 57 GOCCs paid an aggregate of P157 billion in cash dividends to the national treasury in 2020, according to the Department of Finance.

The top 15 dividend contributors were the BSP (P40.53 billion); Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (P17.98 billion); Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (P17 billion); Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (P12 billion); Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (P6 billion); Manila International Airport Authority (P6 billion); Philippine Ports Authority (P5.05 billion); Philippine National Oil Co. (P5 billion); Philippine Reclamation Authority (P4.4 billion); National Power Corp. (P4 billion); Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (P2.27 billion); PNOC Exploration Corp. (P2 billion); Philippine Economic Zone Authority (P2 billion); Bases Conversion and Development Authority (P1.17 billion); and Clark Development Corp. (P1.13 billion).