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GOCC spends P119.1B on pandemic cash aid

A TOTAL of P119.1 billion or three-fourths of the P157 billion in cash dividends remitted by government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) in 2020 partly funded the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Corporate Affairs Group (CAG) of the Department of Finance (DOF) said the P156.97 billion in dividends remitted last year by 57 GOCCs to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) was the highest amount ever collected since the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 7656 or the Dividends Law in 1994.

“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.

Tionko added that P119.1 billion of the GOCCs’ dividend remittances contributed to the government’s unprogrammed revenues.

“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

Tionko said the top 10 dividend contributors, led by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with P40.53 billion, and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) with P17.98 billion, remitted 87 percent of the total dividends collected in 2020.

This year, Tionko said the CAG will continue to instill fiscal discipline among GOCCs, especially those with existing arrears, to ensure their compliance with the Dividends Law and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). PR