CASH dividends remitted by government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) reached P157 billion, the highest amount ever collected since the implementation of the Dividends Law in 1994, the Department of Finance said.
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, DOF’s Corporate Affairs Group (CAG) said P156.97 billion in cash dividends were remitted last year by 57 GOCCs to the Bureau of the Treasury.
“This is also more than twice of the P69.17-billion dividend collection in 2019, inclusive of the dividend foregone. Without dividends foregone, cash remittances is P135.08 billion in 2020, and P52.59 billion in 2019,” the CAG headed by Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko said in a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
Under Republic Act 7656 or the Dividends Law, GOCCs are required to declare and remit at least 50 percent of their annual net earnings as cash, stock or property dividends to the national government.
Of the P157-billion total cash dividends remitted by GOCCs in 2020, three-fourths or P119.1 billion partly funded the social amelioration program that the government implemented to cushion the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s poorest household and other vulnerable sectors. This amount also contributed to the government’s unprogrammed revenues, Tionko said.
“These GOCC dividends were primarily utilized for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), which provided emergency assistance to low-income families to help tide them over during the strict lockdowns imposed earlier last year to curb the spread of Covid-19,” Tionko said.
Leading the top 10 dividend contributors is the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with P40.53 billion, followed by Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) with P17.98 billion.
Moving forward, Tionko vowed the CAG will continue to ensure GOCCs’ compliance with the Dividends Law and its implementing rules and regulations, adding that the CAG already secured an agreement with the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) in 2020 for the transfer of the web-based GOCC Debt Recording and Monitoring System (GDRAMS) to the DOF.
“GDRAMS will help in the analysis of GOCC debt and better manage the government’s financial exposure and strategy formulation,” Tionko said.
This reporting system also aims to streamline the data reporting process and facilitate the timely encoding and submission of the GOCCs of their debt reports, Tionko said.
On top of enhancing GDRAMS, she said they will also train GOCCs on the use of the system so that it could be fully implemented this year.
In partnership with the World Bank, the CAG also spearheaded efforts in 2020 to strengthen the government’s capacity to manage its contingent liabilities and evaluate risks from Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, taking into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.