PPA told: Share largesse with LGUs

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By Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz

The chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education on Sunday said the state-run Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) should share with provinces, cities and municipalities the income the PPA generates from local shipping port operations.

Rep. Roman Romulo of Pasig City, in a news statement released over the weekend, said local government units (LGUs) could get their slice from the 50-percent portion of the PPA’s annual net income remitted to the National Treasury as cash dividends.

The PPA is one of several state-controlled corporations required by law to declare as dividends and transfer at least 50 percent of its yearly net profits to the National Treasury.

“Thus, the PPA will still get to keep at least 50 percent of its annual net profit for reinvestment in port improvement and expansion,” Romulo said.

“Local governments are entitled to their fair share of the earnings from commercial seaports in their areas,” he said. “Our proposal will not diminish in any way the PPA’s mandate and financial capability to continuously modernize and upgrade public port operations countrywide.”

Romulo added that due to a rapidly growing economy and increased shipping traffic, the PPA has been raking in bigger profits every year. “The PPA posted a net income of P4.26 billion on gross revenue of P12.57 billion in 2014,” he said.

He added that net income was up 15.1 percent, from P3.7 billion in 2013, while gross revenue was up 13.5 percent from P11.07 billion.

“The PPA has yet to report its 2015 figures. However, the agency previously reported a net income of P2.54 billion on gross revenue of P4.45 billion from January to April 2015 alone,” he said.

“Net income was up 22.1 percent, from P2.08 billion in the same four-month period in 2014, while gross revenue was up 20.2 percent, from P3.7 billion,” the lawmaker added.

Attached to the Department of Transportation and Communications, the PPA is especially charged with financing, managing and running public ports.

As such, the agency also collects all the revenue from port activities and services, including those from passenger terminals.