MANILA – Government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) have remitted PHP129.45 billion to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) as of April 27, to augment funds for state-led efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and provide economic relief to poor families and other vulnerable groups most affected by the economic fallout from the global health crisis. 

Of the total, some PHP91.62 billion was remitted after the effectivity of Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the "Bayanihan to Heal as One Act" on March 24 and up to April 29, the largest sum ever collected from GOCCs in only five weeks, the Corporate Affairs Group (CAG) of the Department of Finance (DOF), led by Undersecretary Antonette Tionko, said in a news release issued Tuesday.

Before the effectivity of the Bayanihan law, GOCCs were able to remit a total of PHP37.83 billion to the BTr from January 1 to March 23.

On top of the cash dividends remitted by the GOCCs, the remittances also included the unutilized subsidies and payment of guarantee fees and national government advances.
Cash dividends remitted amounted to PHP121.75 billion.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which remitted PHP37.48 billion, topped the list of GOCCS with the highest dividend contributions, followed by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., with PHP17.9 billion, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) with PHP12 billion each.

The GOCCs under the Department of Transportation – the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) – followed with their respective remittances of PHP6 billion each from the MIAA and CAAP and PHP5.05 billion from PPA.

The Philippine National Oil Corp. (PNOC) remitted PHP5 billion; National Power Corp., PHP4 billion; Philippine Reclamation Authority, PHP3.8 billion; Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), PHP2.69 billion; Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, PHP2.27 billion; PNOC Exploration Corp., PHP2 billion; and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, PHP2 billion.

Other GOCCs that remitted to the BTr include the National Electrification Administration, PHP1.55 billion; Metropolitan Waterworks & Sewerage System, PHP1.43 billion; Clark Development Corp., PHP1.13 billion; Light Rail Transit Authority, PHP1 billion; and the National Irrigation Administration, PHP1 billion.

The Philippine Sugar Corp. remitted PHP875 million; Sugar Regulatory Administration, PHP659.55 million; National Housing Authority, PHP513.24 million; Cebu Port Authority, PHP500 million; and the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority, PHP500 million.

The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, APO Production Unit, Inc., Philippine International Trading Corp., Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., National Development Co., North Luzon Tollways Corp. (NorthRail), Social Housing Finance Corp., Food Terminal Inc., Laguna Lake Development Authority, Clark International Airport Corp., Philippine Postal Corp., Batangas Land Company, Inc., DBP Data Center Inc., DBP Leasing Corp., LBP Insurance Brokerage, Inc., LBP Resources and Development Corp., LBP Leasing and Finance Corp., Philippine Mining Development Corp., Philippine Retirement Authority, and the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, along with various other GOCCs also remitted their dividends to the BTr.

Under the Bayanihan Act, the President is authorized “to allocate cash, funds, investments, including unutilized or unreleased subsidies and transfers, held by any GOCC or any national government agency to the address the Covid-19 emergency.”

The expanded budgetary powers granted by the Congress to the President under the Bayanihan Act just a week after the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has enabled the government to formulate a four-pillar socioeconomic strategy to blunt the impact of Covid-19 on the Filipino people and the economy.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told the House of Representatives during a recent online meeting of the economic stimulus cluster of its Defeat Covid-19 Committee (DCC) that the President's four-pillar strategy has a combined value of USD29.3 billion (PHP1.49 trillion) or about 8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

This anti-Covid-19 strategy covers providing poor and low-income households, small-business employees and other vulnerable groups emergency and wage subsidies; marshaling the country’s medical resources and ensuring the safety of its health care front-liners; fiscal and monetary actions to finance emergency initiatives and keep the economy afloat; and an economic recovery plan to create jobs and sustain growth under a post-quarantine scenario.

The PHP205-billion Social Amelioration Program (SAP) for 18 million poor and low-income households under this four-pronged strategy to defeat the virus marks the single biggest social protection program ever of the government. (PR