THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is set to remit more than P3 billion in dividend, its highest contribution to the national coffers since 1986.
The state-owned port regulatory agency’s dividend for 2017 also eclipsed by at least 30 percent all the dividends it remitted to the government at least in the last decade, including its erstwhile record of P2.158 billion remitted in 2015.
PPA is mandated to remit 50 percent of its annual net income to the National Government after it was granted fiscal autonomy during the term of President Corazon C. Aquino.
According to PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago, the agency was able to post record-breaking figures due to the reforms implemented by the new administration.
“This is a clear manifestation that we are reaping the benefits of the reforms management implemented in the last two years, that include among others, reduction of documentary requirements, faster turnaround time of trucks and vessels in ports, and modernization of strategic ports,” Santiago said.
“The continuing review of other processes involving port operations, compliance with the Quality Management Standards, and adoption of world’s best practices in port operations will definitely boost PPA’s financial standing in the next couple of years,” Santiago stressed.
“With the higher dividend, we can guarantee that the National Government can easily implement its anti-poverty measures, particularly in the areas of infrastructure spending and healthcare benefits,” Santiago said.
Compared to the 2016 dividend it remitted to the government last year, the 2017 figure is higher by 54 percent from P1.956 billion due to the strong performance of the Manila ports composed of the Manila International Container Terminal operated by International Container Terminal Services, Inc., the Manila South Harbor, run by Asian Terminals, Inc., and the North Port, managed by Manila North Harbour Port, Inc., complemented by the PPA’s 24 other Port Management Offices, which likewise posted favorable performances in the past year.
The agency’s total expenses for 2017 increased by some 11 percent as a result of increased productivity in project implementation at a rate of 90 percent compared to 7 percent a year earlier.
“This is a very welcome development for the PPA considering that it has forecasted earlier that growth is at best flat for 2017 due to concerns clouting the country’s mining industry and the volatile foreign exchange rates,” Santiago said.
In the last couple of years, the PPA is a regular member of the ‘Billionaires Club’ of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations contributing billions of pesos in dividends. With this incoming all-time high dividend by PPA, it is expected to maintain its inclusion in the elite list of GOCCs.