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Saturday, November 18, 2017

GOCCs remit P14-B dividends to Bureau of Treasury in May

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by Chino Leyco

Remittance by state-owned companies to government coffers jumped in May after corporations rushed to beat the deadline for the turnover of their dividends to the Bureau of the Treasury.

A total P14.02 billion have been remitted by government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) to state coffers in May, up by more than sevenfold compared with P1.75 billion in the same month last year.

The bulk of the dividends during the month came from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) with P2.51 billion and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) with P2.23 billion.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) also turned over dividends to the Treasury amounting to P1.98 billion, along with the Philippine Ports Authority with P1.95 billion and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. with P1.18 billion.

Other GOCCs that remitted their dividends were Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (P661 million), National Development Co. (P421 million), Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (P397 million), and Local Water Utilities Administration (P313 million).

The Cebu Port Authority (P295 million), Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (P241 million), Philippine Leisure and Retirement Authority (P210 million), Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (P170 million) and Philippine Retirement Authority (P162 million) also remitted dividends.

Also included in the list are the National Housing Authority (P164 million), National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. (P155 million) and Sugar Regulatory Administration (P102 million).

There are other 20 GOCCs that remitted their dividends to the government last moth, the Treasury data showed.

In the first five-moths of the year, total remittances of GOCCs amounted to P18.64 billion, lower by 33 percent compared with P27.74 billion in the same period last year.

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier revised the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 7656 or the Dividend Law in a bid to improve transparency and increase revenues.

Among others, the new rules simplify the assessment of GOCCs via the use of Corporate Income Tax Returns filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue or authorized agent banks as the basis for dividend computation.

Full payment of the minimum dividend now have to be made on or before May 15 of each year, or one month after the April 15 tax filing deadline.

Under the new IRR, the DOF may also raise the minimum dividend rate to more than 50 percent in cases of excess cash or revenue windfalls, provided that the viability of and purposes for which the GOCC was established are not impaired.

Earlier, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said they will be serious in collecting the dividends in arrears from some GOCCs, which now stood at P114 billion.

“Absolutely, yes I am confident, but I cannot say exactly when because we have this long argument [with GOCCs that have unpaid dividends],” Dominguez said.

“Well, I want to collect P114 billion (this year). Obviously, I won’t be able to do that since we are still arguing, but that is our target,” he added.

Dominguez identified the GOCCs with unpaid dividends, such as the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) with P46.5 billion, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) with P29.87 billion.

Also included are the the National Power Corp. with P20.66 billion, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) with P6.89 billion and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines with P6.31 billion.

“[The GOCC arrears] that is a long argument that has been in our history for a long time. There are arrears with [these agencies] but fortunately we are making progress in these dividends,” Dominguez said.

“The current arrearages, many of these have to do with legal discussions and some of them have to do with the fact that the collections of PSALM, for instance, are quite low, so they have a lot of receivables and they haven’t moved as quickly as they should have,” he added.

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