GOCC body tasked to draft Landbank-DBP merger order
MANILA -The planned merger of Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), “approved” by President Marcos on March 28, is in progress as the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GCG) is preparing a draft Executive Order (EO) that would make it happen.
“GCG will issue a draft [EO] for the President to sign,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno told reporters.
Asked when the draft will be ready, Diokno said it would be up to GCG chair Alex Quiroz.
“But [Budget] Secretary Amenah Pangandaman and I are part of the five-member board,” he added, showing that he is part of that process.
The Secretaries of Finance and of Budget sit as ex officio members of the GCG, which is the central policy-making and regulatory body mandated to safeguard the state’s ownership rights and ensure that the operations of government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) are transparent and responsive to the needs of the public.
Two commissioners—lawyers Gideon Mortel and Geraldine Marie Berberabe-Martinez—complete the five. GCG is under the Office of the President.
No legislation needed
When asked about the argument on whether the Landbank-DBP merger can be done through an EO or needs legislation, Diokno said the position of the GCG is that it can merge or abolish GOCCs without an act of Congress.
“We have discussed this point and it is very clear that we can,” he said.
“I can also say that even [former] Sen. Franklin Drilon who drafted that law says, ‘ay pwede talaga ‘yan,’ (Oh, that can be done),” Diokno added, referring to the law that created the GCG.
The law mandates the GCG to evaluate whether a GOCC should be reorganized, merged, streamlined, abolished or privatized.
Last week, Quiroz said the GCG intended to promptly submit to the Office of the President its recommendation regarding the proposed merger.
“GCG will have to look into the specifics of the merger as it involves two major banks that are state owned,” Quiroz said.
“We want to ensure that the merger is seamless and will not disrupt or cause issues or concerns in their respective operations and processes,” he added.
Quiroz said ensuring that the merger of the two state-run banks will be beneficial to the government was within the GCG’s jurisdiction. INQ