A MEMBER of the House of Representatives on Sunday said the national treasury’s dividend income from government-owned-or-controlled corporations (GOCCs) can fund the monthly pension for indigent senior citizens, which is due to increase to P1,000 from the current P500.
“The country’s economic recovery is on track, so we are counting on GOCCs to generate higher profits and pay out more cash dividends. The money can be used to bankroll the pension increase,” Surigao Del Sur Rep. Johnny T. Pimentel said in a statement.
Republic Act No. 11916, which lapsed into law on July 30, doubled the pension rate of poor citizens at least 60 years old to 1,000 monthly from P500.
The law’s implementing rules and regulations has yet to be completed.
“If the government does not provide money for the pension increase, the incidence of hunger could worsen among the elderly who do not have any means of financial support,” Mr. Pimentel said.
In 2021, the Department of Budget and Management remitted a combined P57.55 billion to state coffers from GOCCs.
Republic Act No. 7656 mandates GOCCs to declare as dividends and remit at least 50% of their annual net profits to the national treasury.
“The same law also empowers Malacañang to adjust the dividend payout to any rate higher than 50% (of net profit) for all covered GOCCs,” Mr. Pimentel said as he urged the presidential palace to compel GOCC’s to pay a higher dividend of up to 75%.
This year’s P25-billion allocation for the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPPISC) covers 4.1 million beneficiaries identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The 15 biggest dividend payors among GOCCs are the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.; Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.; Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority; Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines; Manila International Airport Authority; Philippine Ports Authority; Philippine National Oil Co.; Philippine Reclamation Authority; National Power Corp.; Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office; PNOC Exploration Corp.; Philippine Economic Zone Authority; Bases Conversion and Development Authority; and Clark Development Authority. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo