MANILA – The Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) on Thursday clarified that it has taken appropriate steps in abolishing the Northern Foods Corporation (NFC) and initiating actions for the liquidation of the non-performing government corporation as early as 2021.
GCG chairperson Justice Alex Quiroz made the clarification following a news report citing a Commission on Audit (COA) report for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2022 that claimed the GCG has yet to convene the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the abolition of the NFC a year after it was approved by the Office of the President through a Memorandum dated Dec. 1, 2021.
The news report further claimed that the failure of the GCG to convene the TWG, which is comprised of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Budget and Management, Landbank of the Philippines, and the Privatization Management Office has resulted in unresolved issues on compensation, liquidation of assets, settlement of liabilities and further depletion of the financial resources of NFC.
Quiroz stressed that it is incorrect to ascribe inaction on the part GCG, pointing out that that based on records, the TWG members were requested to nominate their respective authorized representatives as early as Dec. 9, 2021 but were only completed on July 22, 2022.
The formal designation of representatives to the TWG were only completed on July 24, 2022 and the new GCG commissioners were only appointed in September 2022.
He added that while waiting for the TWG members to be completed, GCG approved the Schedule of Separation Plan of NFC on June 23, 2022 which resulted in approximately PHP1.3 million savings per month on salaries and wages according to NFC.
“Upon the appointment of the new Commission, the GCG immediately endeavored to convene the TWG to discuss pressing matters relative to the abolition of NFC. Hence, on 08 October 2022, the TWG convened and conducted its first meeting at the GCG office attended by the majority of all members of the TWG,” Quiroz said in a statement.
“On 26 October 2022, the GCG and the TWG members received the updated Plan of Liquidation as requested from NFC during the first TWG meeting. The second meeting was conducted on 21 December 2022,” he said.
The GCG assured that the next TWG meeting will be scheduled once the Governing Board of NFC attains majority members to constitute a quorum, as the Governing Board of an abolished GOCC continues to possess powers to effect the liquidation of the GOCC in accordance with the terms of the abolition and procedure laid down by the TWG.
As the central oversight body for GOCCs, Quiroz assured that the GCG remains steadfast to its mandate of rationalizing the public corporate sector through streamlining, reorganization, or merger, as well as adhering to the policy of safeguarding public funds to provide the highest liquidation value of the abolished GOCCs. (PNA)