PPA to remit over P3B in dividends

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Cargo containers are seen at the port area along Manila bay. -- BW FILE PHOTO

MANILA – The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will remit more than PHP3 billion in dividends for 2017, surpassing by 30 percent all dividends it remitted to the national government for the past decade including the PHP2.16 billion remitted in 2015.

The PPA attributed the hike in remittance, which is its highest ever since 1986, to the various initiatives being implemented by the Duterte administration to improve the situation of ports in the country.

“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,” PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said in a statement Tuesday.

“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,” he added.

The 2017 figure is higher by 54 percent from the PHP1.956 billion recorded in 2016 due to the strong performance of the Manila ports — 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 also posted favorable performances in the past year.

PPA’s total expenses last year increased by around 11 percent as productivity in project implementation increased by 90 percent compared to 7 percent a year earlier.

“This is a very welcome development for the PPA considering that it had forecast 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.

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.

The agency has been a regular member of the ‘Billionaires Club’ of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations contributing billions of pesos in dividends for the past few years.