Why, the NGCP executive wonders, did making money become so ‘demonized’?
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – When did making money become so “demonized?”
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) assistant vice president Cynthia Alabanza aired her sentiment on Thursday after she found herself in the hot seat Wednesday when senators grilled her about the company’s alleged obscenely high dividend payments.
Alabanza though stressed it is not a “fat paycheck” given to NGCP executives but an earning shared among its investors.
“You know that fat paycheck I thought was a little bit unfair because industry-wise, we’re just at the level,” she said over ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Headstart” TV program.
“Second of all, I don’t know when making money became so demonized,” she said.
“Again, when you talk about dividends, if you look at the prevailing law, you’re not supposed to retain dividends. You’re supposed to give it out. In fact, you will be penalized if you retain dividends beyond your paid-up capital.”
“But is it really a fat paycheck? It isn’t. It’s earnings,” Alabanza insisted.
At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, NGCP disclosed that billions of pesos earnings of the company were divided among its shareholders.
The NGCP official had explained during the hearing that their profits “are taken from retained earnings which have accumulated over the years.”
On the company’s billion-peso dividends, Alabanza said it is also essential to look at their capital expenditures.
“If you just take out a couple of zeros, you put in P300 and you earn, let’s say, a P180, this is not so bad. But you know the connotation of billions that makes it seem so unacceptable. But in proportion, this is not unusual,” she claimed during the interview.
“And it’s because you know we operated the transmission system as best as [possible]. We make it efficient and we have run the business in a way that we’ve made it profitable from that time that government had it prior to privatization,” she explained.