By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Finance (DOF) reported that government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) remitted record dividends last year owing to their “fiscal discipline.”
In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III described the P40.17-billion remittance from state-owned firms in 2018 as “unprecedented.”
According to the finance chief, the total dividend remittance last year was the highest amount ever collected since the law requiring state companies to hand over 50 percent of their annual net earnings to the national government was enacted in 1994.
In 2018, the national government received P40.17 billion in dividends from GOCCs, up by 32 percent from P30.46 billion in the previous year.
The DOF said that a total of 55 GOCCs remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury (BOT) as of December 14 last year. The cash dividend collections comprised 15.72 percent of the emerging total non-tax revenues of the government.
The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. topped the list among the GOCCs last year after it remitted a total of P8.844 billion to the state coffers.
Among the other top dividend contributors were the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (P6.2 billion); Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (P3.6 billion); Philippine Ports Authority (P3.1 billion); Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (P2.6 billion); Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (P2.5 billion); Manila International Airport Authority (P2.2 billion); and the National Power Corp. (P1.4 billion).
The other GOCCs remitted less than P1 billion to the BOT last year.
Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko, meanwhile, said Land Bank of the Philippines was allowed to waive its dividend contributions of P7.82 billion to boost its capital requirements. But even without Land Bank, P40.17 billion still represents the highest amount ever collected from state-owned and -controlled firms since the GOCC Dividends Law was implemented 24 years ago.
Covering the period from July 2016 to December 2018, the total cash dividend collections under the Duterte administration now amounts to P70.9 billion.
“This is unprecedented,” Dominguez said. “The record amount demonstrates the effectivity of Undersecretary Tionko and her team in instilling fiscal discipline among the GOCCs since the Duterte administration took over in 2016.”
Dominguez earlier attributed the significantly higher dividend remittances last year to the efficient monitoring of GOCCs by the DOF as well as by finance officials sitting on the boards of these state-run firms.
GOCCs are required to declare and remit at least half of their income as dividends to the national government, under Republic Act No. 7656.
Dividends remitted by GOCCs have steadily increased under the Duterte administration.
In 2017, dividends remitted by GOCCs to the BOT grew by 9.8 perce from the 2016 collections of P27.73 billion.
The 2017 dividend collections from 54 GOCCs exceeded the P27.73-billion remittances in 2016 even if the LandBank’s P6 billion remittance in 2017 was not included to allow the institution to recapitalize and better serve the increasing development needs of the country.
Had LandBank’s dividends been included, the total GOCC remittances would have reached P36.46 billion in 2017.
GOCCs with at least P1 billion dividend remittances in 2017 were PDIC with P7.461 billion, CAAP with P5.394 billion, DBP with P2.516 billion, MIAA with P2.227 billion, PPA with P1.956 billion, BSP with P1.843 billion, NPC with P1.399 billion, and Pagcor with P1.183 billion.