Courtesy: Land Bank of the Philippines

THE GOVERNMENT may raise more than P25 billion by selling the assets of 31 defunct government corporations, the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GCG) said.

In chance remarks to reporters on Tuesday, GCG Commissioner Gideon DV. Mortel said some of the corporations have been inactive since 2013, injecting a sense of urgency to the task of unlocking value from their assets.

“If you put together all the remaining assets, it’s somewhere between P22 to P25 billion. But based on a recent assessments, tataas pa ’yon (the value could be higher),” Mr. Mortel told reporters.

“GCG Chairman Justice Alex L. Quiroz (wants) to prevent any dissipation or wastage of the remaining resources of these abolished Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs),” he said.

During the coordination and preliminary meetings with these abolished GOCCs, the lack of personnel and absence of a quorum in the governing boards of abolished GOCCs became a challenge to the GCG, the GCG has said.

The GCG also announced last week that it is drafting an executive order to expedite the liquidation process.

According to Mr. Mortel, the GCG plans to complete the draft within the next two weeks and submit it to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. for approval.

He also said there is a need to harmonize the liquidation process as the conditions of asset disposal for many defunct GOCCs are governed by separate memoranda or executive orders issued at the time they were inactivated.

“Given these different approaches, we came up with the idea of having a single executive order that will govern all of this so we can liquidate all of them,” he said.

Mr. Quiroz also told reporters that the GCG is in a hurry to process all of these assets.

“To avoid dissipation of funds of GOCCs, we need to move fast,” he said.

As the GOCC regulator, the GCG is empowered to evaluate the performance of any state corporation to ascertain whether they should be reorganized, merged, streamlined, abolished or privatized.

This year, the Department of Finance’s Privatization and Management Office is aiming to dispose of at least 143 properties worth P2.5 billion.

Separately, Mr. Quiroz said the GCG’s study on the merger of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is still ongoing.

“There are a lot of things to be considered. First, the merger between United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) and LANDBANK is not yet finished,” he said.

In June 2021, then-President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed an executive order approving the merger of the two major government banks, in which all assets and liabilities of UCPB will be transferred to LANDBANK. The merger took effect in March 2022.

Mr. Quiroz also noted that management, operations, and labor are the major considerations in the merger of DBP and LANDBANK.

Asked if the merger can happen by next year, Mr. Quiroz said “let’s not rush and let’s carefully study it first.”

In May, Mr. Quiroz said a technical team from the GCG is currently working to calibrate the positions and classifications of the banks’ workers.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno has said that the merger between the two banks will likely be completed by the first half of next year.

Once combined, LANDBANK and DBP will have assets of P4.185 trillion and deposits of P3.588 trillion, according to the Finance department.

The merged entity will become the sole authorized government depository bank. — Keisha B. Ta-asan