SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) emerged as the highest dividends contributor among special economic zones in the country during the recent Dividends Day in Malacanang, an annual event recognizing government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) with the highest remittances.
According to SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia, the SBMA remitted a total of P185 million to the National Treasury this year, the first time for the Subic agency after more than a decade.
"Overall, SBMA placed number 10 among the 50 GOCCs that remitted dividends out of the total 114 GOCCs in the country today," Garcia said.
"Meanwhile, we ranked number one and surpassed eight other free ports and special economic zones, including Clark which remitted P102 million," Garcia added.
Under RA 7656, GOCCs are required to declare and remit half or 50 per cent of their net income to the National Treasury as dividends. The remittances are used mainly by the government for its social services programs.
According to Department of Finance reports, this year's top contributors were Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), which had the highest dividends remitted at P6.298 billion, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), which had the highest total remittances at P9.791 billion.
Other GOCC contributors were Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), with P3.616 billion; Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), P2.5 billion; Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), P2.107 billion; Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), P1.577 billion; Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC), P1.5 billion; Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), P1.422 billion; and Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), P1.05 billion.
Meanwhile, next to the SBMA in the free port/special ecozone category were Clark Development Corporation (CDC), with P110 million; Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), P100 million; and Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), P4.56 million.
In his Independence Day message, President Benigno Aquino III said that GOCCs have remitted a total of P95.38 billion in just the three and a half years of his administration, compared to the P81.54 million that the corporations remitted in eight years of the Arroyo government from 2002 to 2010.
Garcia explained that since 2004 until 2013, the SBMA failed to remit dividends after the agency suffered financial losses. However, with major financial and operational restructuring in the last three years, the SBMA has managed to recover and turn financial statistics upward.
Records indicated that the SBMA first complied with the dividends requirement by remitting P5.23 million from its net earnings in 1993. Then in 2003, the SBMA remitted P75.6 million from its net earnings from 2000 to 2003 as a result of the adjustment of the required dividends from 50 percent to only 10 percent for GOCCs with very low net earnings.
The GOCC Dividends Day started in 2011 as an annual ceremony spearheaded by the Department of Finance and later on by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), to recognize complying GOCCs and to raise support for the government's "unprogrammed fund."
A total of P32.3 billion was raised by the national government during the GOCC Dividends Day recently.
Garcia said that while the SBMA could use the amount it had just remitted as dividends for its various capital expenditure projects, the Subic agency is happy to comply with the law.
"For one thing, we are able to help the President with his developmental programs. That's one significant contribution by Subic to national development," Garcia said. (30)
SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia hands over to President Benigno Aquino III a check worth P185 million, representing the Subic authority's dividend remittance to the national government, during the GOCC Dividends Day at Malacanang Palace. Looking on are Vice President Jejomar Binay (left) and SBMA Director Joven Reyes.