GOCCs remit P374.5-B dividends

Published June 29, 2022, 1:32 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

Because of the reallocation of funds amid the pandemic, government-owned and -controlled corporations’ (GOCCs) total cash dividends during the six-year Duterte administration reached a record P374.54 billion, up 127 percent from the Aquino government’s P164.81 billion, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

The DOF on Wednesday, June 29, said GOCCs were able to deposit P209.73 billion more than the previous administration due to the “rigorous fiscal discipline and responsibility instilled by the Department of Finance in the state corporate sector on his (President Duterte’s) watch.”

DOF Building in Manila

It was in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, when the Duterte administration collected the highest amount of dividends of P135.13 billion, partly due to Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The first Bayanihan law authorized Duterte to “allocate cash, funds, investments, including unutilized or unreleased subsidies and transfers, held by any GOCC or any national government agency” to help address the COVID-19 emergency.

The DOF Corporate Affairs Group (CAG), in a report to outgoing DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said however that even without the Bayanihan law, the 2020 collection is “at par with the 2019 level” and that the cash dividends during the Duterte administration was still 77 percent more compared to the previous Aquino term.

The DOF said the dividend remittances collected in 2020 were used to fund the government’s “cash-intensive pandemic response programs” such as emergency subsidies to low-income families and displaced workers.

The CAG report also compared the Duterte administration’s dividend collection from the Arroyo government of P60.82 billion. The current administration’s total cash dividends were much more higher by 516 percent or P313.72 billion compared to the Arroyo government’s collections.

GOCCs are mandated under RA No. 7656 or the Dividends Law to deposit cash dividends or about 50 percent of their earnings to the Bureau of the Treasury.

The Duterte administration ends on Thursday, June 30.