DIVIDENDS remitted to the Treasury by government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) totaled P57.55 billion in 2021, exceeding the pre-pandemic performance of P52.59 billion posted in 2019, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement on Monday.

The 2021 dividends were however much lower than the 2020 performance of P135.08 billion, with the government leaning heavily on GOCCs to remit more of their profits to help fund the pandemic response.

The P135.08 billion in 2020 includes dividends the government chose to forego from the two major state-owned banks which needed to build up their capital, the DoF Corporate Affairs Group (CAG) said in its report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

Excluding the dividends that would have been paid by Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, GOCC remittances were P84.72 billion in 2021.

The Dividends Law, or Republic Act No. 7656, requires GOCCs to remit at least 50% of their net earnings to the National Government.

CAG projects further collections of P32 billion from GOCCs by the end of June, Assistant Secretary Soledad Emilia F. Cruz of CAG said.

“The CAG, headed by Finance Undersecretary Antonette C. Tionko, used the web-based GOCC Liabilities and Monitoring System (GLAMS) to check on the financial status of GOCCs,” the DoF said.

“Formerly known as the GOCC Debt Reporting and Monitoring System (GDRAMS), the GLAMS was transferred by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) to the DoF in July 2021, and relaunched with enhanced features in August 2021.”

Ms. Cruz said that the CAG in 2021 was successful in implementing globally accepted insurance accounting standards, the Philippine Financial Reporting Standards, at government insurance institutions, which include the Social Security System (SSS), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Mr. Dominguez called reforms pushed by CAG to be continued into the next administration.

“Continuity is the important thing in these programs that we all started to ensure that they are not just going to fall by the wayside, but will be institutionalized, because you guys have done a terrific job,” Mr. Dominguez said. — Tobias Jared Tomas