NEA pays gov’t P136M dividendBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—state-run National Electrification Administration has remitted P136 million in dividends to the government, representing its share in the agency’s earnings in 2012.
“NEA’s contribution to the national coffers is in line with its efforts to ensure good governance. We strive for excellence by dutifully paying our obligations,” said NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno.
According to NEA, it was among the first government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) to remit dividends to the government this year.
It explained that the P136 million that was turned over to the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) on Jan. 29 was so far the biggest dividend paid by NEA in its history.
Based on initial reports, the agency’s net income before income tax last year stood at P452 million.
It was only after a restructuring in 2003 that NEA began posting a positive net margin and it had continued to do so over the past eight years.
The contributing factors to NEA’s positive financial position included its enhanced lending program and prudent corporate practices. Since its financial turnaround in 2004, NEA has adopted various measures and initiatives to make its operation more viable.
At present, the Department of Energy has been urgently pushing for the passage of a bill that will amend the charter of NEA.
Pending House Bill 5578 is aimed at enabling the NEA to carry out reforms that will capacitate and improve the creditworthiness of electric cooperatives. By doing so, electric coops will be able to serve more efficiently the electricity needs of the customers within its franchise area, particularly those in the provinces and off-grid areas.
It should be noted that many of the power distributors in the Philippines are electric cooperatives. Unfortunately, some of them have been underperforming or facing serious debt problems due to mismanagement and politics. The total debts of electric cooperatives have so far hit P18 billion.