Senator Win Gatchalian broached the idea of realigning some of the P200 billion subsidies appropriated for 2021 to losing government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) to augment funds needed in pandemic and calamity response efforts.
Being a high-risk country in experiencing natural calamities, Senator Gatchalian emphasized that the Philippines should always prepare for any disasters that occur every year. Add to this, he said, are COVID-19 recovery efforts that are likely to continue by 2021 if a vaccine has not yet been developed by that time.
“We have seen the recent destruction of typhoons Quinta and Rolly. Government resources are getting limited due to the coronavirus pandemic and have become more troublesome because of the devastation left behind by the recent spate of typhoons,” said Gatchalian.
In a recent Senate budget hearing, Gatchalian noted the continuing allocation in the proposed 2021 national budget of P201 billion as subsidies to 118 GOCCs that remitted only P47 billion dividends last year.
Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) Chairman Samuel Dagpin Jr. told the Senate Finance Subcommittee that some underperforming GOCCs have been recommended to be abolished and one of which is PNOC Renewables Corporation (PNOC RC), a subsidiary of Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), as it has been operating at a loss for the past seven years.
Dagpin told Gatchalian that the GCG had already submitted a recommendation to the Office of the President as early as March to abolish PNOC RC.
Gatchalian, as the Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, recommended that PNOC should not give any funds to PNOC RC, except if it is for the purpose of winding up the corporation.
“I cannot, in my good conscience, endorse any new funds and I recommend to the management to start the proceedings of absorption, winding down and also probably liquidating or divesting the assets of PNOC RC. That is my recommendation and we will proceed with that recommendation in plenary,” Gatchalian stressed.
“There’s nothing personal here. This is in line with my mandate of representing the people and making sure that taxpayers’ money are well spent,” the senator further emphasized.