No to 'baratilyo sale': Recto shares privatization tips to gov't

A senator-turned-deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives has advised the government on how to go about its reported plan to sell off its NPAs, or non-performing assets.

Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto (Facebook)

According to Batangas 6th district Rep. Ralph Recto, the privatization process of should undergo proper curation so that it would not lead to a “fire sale” of state-owned land, businesses, and franchises.

“The rule in privatization is that we should not be selling the geese that lay the golden eggs. We should be careful that what remains of state crown jewels are not included in a baratilyo (markdown) sale simply because we are raising funds for a project,” he said.

In the curating part or inventorying what can be sold, the strategic value of a company “should come ahead of the chance to make a fast buck out of the sale".

But Recto said that if “derelict assets” are successfully auctioned off, proceeds should be earmarked for “activities high in both social and financial ROIs (returns of investment), like housing".

For instance, Recto said the microscopic share of shelter agencies to the national budget – less than 1/10th of 1 percent – prompts the use of “off-budget sources” to wipe out the estimated 6.658-million housing backlog.

The Department of Housing, Shelter and Urban Development (DHSUD) and its attached agencies account for P4.7 billion of the P5.26-trillion national budget this year.

“Kaya ‘yang pabahay ang dapat pondohan, hindi lang ng Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), pati ng pambansang budget na rin (That's why we should fund housing projects, not just through the Maharlika Investment Fund, but through the national budget as well)," said the Senate President pro tempore.

At P1 million per unit, the DHSUD said it would require P6.658 trillion to erase the shelter deficit. Recto said that already accounts for127 percent of the national budget.

He said the land required alone for the 6.658 million units is about 61,000 hectares, “which is about 15 times the land area of Manila.”

Recto said building up the shelter inventory in numbers not seen before is not mission impossible under the Marcos administration.

“One, you have as Secretary of Housing a proven builder, the first time in history."

"Second, housing is in the legacy agenda of President BBM because he has to do better than her mom, who built those BLISS condos which remain a good template for mass housing,” Recto said.