Dividends issued by government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) amounted to P374.54 billion over the course of the current administration, up 127% from the dividends generated during the predecessor government, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

In a statement, the DoF said the dividend total incorporates all funds remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury from July 2016 to date.

The dividend totals were compiled in a report prepared by the DoF Corporate Affairs Group for Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.
Dividends generated by GOCCs during the term of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno S.C. Aquino III, amounted to P164.81 billion.

The growth in Duterte-era dividends was driven by stimulus legislation that required GOCCs to remit more than their usual share of dividends. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, GOCCs generated P135.13 billion worth of dividends.

Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, authorized the President to reallocate resources, including unutilized or unreleased subsidies and transfers, held by GOCCs and National Government agencies, for use in containing the pandemic.

In normal conditions, RA 7656 or the Dividends Law requires GOCCs to hand over at least 50% of their profits to the Treasury, though pandemic spending requirements forced a number of GOCCs to raise or front-load their payouts.

The strength of the dividend performance reflects “the rigorous fiscal discipline and responsibility instilled… in the state corporate sector on (Mr. Duterte’s) watch,” the DoF said. — Diego Gabriel C. Robles