MANILA – The National Transmission Corp. (Transco) is studying the possibility of remitting all of its 2020 net earnings to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) as its dividend contribution to help fund the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response programs.
In a letter to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Transco president-chief executive officer Melvin Matibag said the state-run firm will secure the approval of its board to comply with Dominguez’s directive on increasing the dividend remittance of the firm for 2020 to 75 percent of its net earnings.
Matibag said Transco is even open to contributing 100 percent of its net income for this period to the government’s Covid-19 response efforts.
“Transco supports the DOF (Department of Finance) in its revenue generation efforts for the government’s programs to alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in fact, it is exploring the possibility of remitting 100 percent from the 2020 net earnings,” Matibag said in his letter to Dominguez.
Transco earlier remitted to the BTr the amount of PHP8.32 billion, representing 50 percent of its net earnings from 2016 to 2019, to help augment the government’s Covid-19 response fund.
Under Republic Act (RA) No. 7656 or the Dividends Law, all government-owned and -controlled corporations (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 (NG).
For 2020, Transco’s dividend remittance at 50 percent of its net earnings was computed to amount to PHP1.63 billion.
Under Dominguez’s order for Transco to remit 75 percent of its 2020 net earnings on or before June 15, the firm’s dividend contribution will increase to PHP2.45 billion.
In his letter, Matibag said for Transco to be able to comply with Dominguez’s order, it will have to seek the approval of its Board for an additional budget of PHP817,114,966 for 2021 to cover the increase in the dividend amount to 75 percent.
“Once the Board approval is secured, Transco will request for the approval of the additional budget from the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) to support the dividend remittance to the National Government (NG),” Matibag said.
From January 1 to May 31 of this year, the total remittances of GOCCs reached PHP31.38 billion, topped by the PHP8.32-billion contribution of Transco, according to the DOF’s Corporate Affairs Group (CAG).
The other top dividend contributors were the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) with PHP7.1 billion; Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), PHP4 billion; Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), PHP3.76 billion; Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), PHP1.56 billion; Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), PHP1.21 billion; and the PNOC Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), PHP1 billion.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy of instilling fiscal discipline among GOCCs has enabled the government to collect an average of PHP57 billion in remittances annually from these firms. This amount is more than double the average annual collection of the past administration. (PNA)