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Salceda eyes billions in funding for Philippines economic recovery
Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House ways and means committee, said they can tap “non-essential” government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) that may have earned or saved billions in revenues or, alternately, an “increase in dividend remittances.”
STAR/ File

Salceda eyes billions in funding for Philippines economic recovery

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — The House of Representatives’ main resident economist hinted yesterday that he is trying to find more funding sources from the recession-hit government, in an attempt to speed up the country’s economic recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House ways and means committee, said they can tap “non-essential” government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) that may have earned or saved billions in revenues or, alternately, an “increase in dividend remittances.”

“The Department of Finance agreed with this proposal and they more or less think my estimate of P70 billion in additional revenues from GOCC remittances is reasonable,” the Albay congressman projected.

Another way is through “capital withdrawal from overcapitalized GOCCs.”

“We will have to survey non-essential GOCCs that have accumulated more earnings than they need. Depending on which GOCCs we withdraw capital from, that could be anywhere between P20 to P80 billion,” Salceda said.

This is good, according to him, because “we get to mobilize dormant resources” aside from the fact that “nothing changes as far as the ownership structure of the GOCC is concerned.”

Another “urgent option” that he mentioned was “to enact pending tax measures that the House already passed. The most obvious ones are on POGOs and on e-sabong. They are operational, but the tax regime is uncertain, so we’re not getting the most out of these.”

“That will yield a combined P40 to P52 billion over the next five years,” Salceda estimated.

In fact, the administration lawmaker said some P675 billion worth of revenue measures are either about to be passed or were already passed by the House under his watch as House tax chairman. – Czeriza Valencia

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