Lawmaker pushes fund source for Bayanihan 3
MANILA, Philippines — Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas has urged the executive branch to increase the dividend remittance required from government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) to fund the House-proposed Bayanihan 3 bill that met opposition from the Senate because of the lack of financing sources.
Gulas said Republic Act No. 7656, or the GOCC Dividend Law, empowers the President, upon the recommendation of the secretary of finance, to set the dividend higher than the 50 percent dividend requirement provided by the law.
“Despite the COVID-19 crisis, a number of GOCCs are still making good money and are in a position to pay out incremental dividends to the national treasury,” Gullas, a member of the House appropriations committee, said in a statement.
Citing data from the Department of Finance, Gullas said 57 GOCCs remitted P157 billion in cash dividends to the national treasury in 2020.
Among the major contributors were the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas with P40.53 billion, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. with P17.98 billion, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. with P17 billion, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority with P12 billion, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines with P6 billion.
Rep. Joey Salceda, the House tax chief, earlier said the government could increase dividend remittances from GOCCs for additional funding to its COVID-19 response “without hurting our overall fiscal standing.”
Salceda said the House of Representatives was already working on a P370-billion Bayanihan 3 bill, which is expected to pass the committee level before the lower chamber resumes session on May 17.
But the country’s economic managers are wary of another costly law because the country has already entered into billions of dollars in foreign loans for the government’s pandemic response.
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