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Gov’t to sell more assets in next 3 years

/ 12:01 AM July 06, 2016

The Duterte administration plans to dispose of more assets in the next three years, including its stake in United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) as well as assets belonging to state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) whose privatization have long been delayed, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said yesterday.

“There will be more assets to be unloaded. I have just talked to PSALM officials and I told them that the original plan for PSALM was to get rid of the assets after the first five years. That was 10 years ago—we have to speed up their disposal of assets,” Dominguez said after the Cabinet-level, inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) meeting.

Dominguez said he wanted the disposition of PSALM’s assets finished in three years’ time.

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The finance chief added that he would want to dispose of the government’s stakes in Philippine Postal Savings Bank as well as UCPB.

He said Postal Bank would likely be sold in two years’ time as the bank’s valuation and due-diligence for the sale as well as actual bidding would be undertaken “as quickly as possible.”

As for UCPB, Dominguez said that since the planned sale was facing legal troubles, the DOF would have to “think about it.”

The Supreme Court in June last year issued a temporary restraining order putting on hold the implementation of EO Nos. 179 and 180 earlier signed by former President Aquino that would have set in motion the privatization and reconveyance to the government of about P74.3 billion in coco levy funds that the high court earlier declared as public funds.

Last July, the Privatization and Management Office (PMO) announced that it “temporarily suspended” the planned sale of the government’s controlling stake in UCPB because of the court ruling.

The PMO had been in the process of disposing the government’s UCPB stake, earlier targeted to be concluded last September, through a privatization scheme that would require the winning bidder to not only acquire the government equity but also infuse fresh capital into the bank. Ben O. de Vera

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TAGS: Carlos G. Dominguez, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management, Privatization, PSALM, UCPB, United Coconut Planters Bank
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