Amid pandemic, PPA raises billions in dividend remittance, hikes remittance to support COVID-19 response

24 MARCH 2021, MANILA—Despite facing difficulties posed by the pandemic, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) managed to collect billions of pesos in dividend remittance to the national government for fiscal year 2020.

And while existing law mandates PPA to give at least 50% of its net income annually to the government, PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said the PPA Board has approved the initiative to give 56% of its net income for 2020 to the national coffers to assist the government in its COVID-19 response.

“We anticipate that the fight against this global health emergency is a long and winding road. As a response, we are increasing our dividend to P3.541 billion representing 56% of PPA’s 2020 net income to help (the) government in its fight against COVID-19,” GM Santiago said.

“This is just one of the ways that the agency is looking at, with the guidance of Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, as we continue to veer away from the clutches of COVID-19,” Santiago explained.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the hike in PPA’s dividend remittance will help enable the government to procure the needed doses of COVID-19 vaccines as well as provide assistance to the vulnerable sectors of society.

For 2020, the PPA posted a net income after tax of P6.138 billion, which is 16% below its 2019 figure primarily because of the pandemic. Compared to the target, the amount is above the target of P5.557 billion.

“The decision of the PPA to increase the amount of its dividend remittance to the Bureau of the Treasury is a shining example of Bayanihan spirit. Dividend remittances from government agencies help sustain the government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. These remitted amounts to the Bureau of the Treasury will help in the procurement of the life-saving vaccines, as well provide the most vulnerable sectors of society with aid and financial support,” said Secretary Tugade.

“It is in this light that I am calling on government agencies under the DOTr, to help the government sustain the momentum in its fight against COVID-19 by properly remitting their dividend to the national treasury,” Secretary Tugade added.

Meanwhile, the PPA also reported that despite the reduced net earnings for 2020 due to the pandemic, the dividend in review still ranks second highest since the first full year of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. The PPA has also not remitted a dividend lower than P3.1 billion.

Since 2016, the PPA has been consistent as the top-performing DOTr agency and was able to remit a total of P17.171 billion in dividend to help in the implementation of various government social and health programs.

The PPA also posted a total of P14.87 billion in income tax to the Bureau of Internal Revenue since 2016 where the biggest tax paid was recorded in 2018 at a total of P5.90 billion.

“Even in the midst of the pandemic, we stayed true to our thrust—“Malasakit at Serbisyo and Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Pagbangon”. With the constant guidance from Transport Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and with the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the country is assured of the progress that the future could offer,” Santiago said.