GOVERNMENT  EYES  P50B FROM  FULL  PRIVATIZATION  OF  RP  OIL  CO. (PNOC-EDC)

MANILA, JUNE 28, 2007
(STAR) By Donnabelle L. Gatdula - The National Government is planning to sell the remaining 60-percent stake of Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) in its geothermal arm, PNOC-Energy Development Corp.; before the end of this year to raise P50-billion additional revenues. Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said. In a press conference, Teves said they plan to dispose an initial 20 percent in the geothermal development subsidiary by July or August this year while the remaining 40 percent will be disposed by November.

PNOC-EDC sold a 40-percent block to the public through an initial public offering in December last year, generating almost P17 billion in gross proceeds.

Prior to PNOC-EDC‘s public offer, it went through several tedious processes such as the securing the approval of the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC), a body created under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to oversee the privatization of National Power Corp. (Napocor) assets.

PNOC-EDC is currently selling its steamfield produce to Napocor. This was the reason why PNOC-EDC needed to ask the JCPC’s go-signal to sell its shares as it would involve Napocor’s contracts.

But a PNOC-EDC official said this time, the company would not be required to secure JCPC’s approval.

“As far as I know, we have already resolved the issue of steamfield contracts with Napocor. I do not see any reason to go to JCPC for any approval,” he said.

The official, however, said at present, the only mandate for PNOC-EDC is to sell 60 percent which would still go through the same procedure of approval from the company’s board and the PNOC’s board.

Aside from PNOC-EDC, Teves said they may also generate P50 billion from the sale of government’s share in food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp. Another P5 billion to P6-billion potential additional revenue may also be expected from the sale of government’s 12-percent stake in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest privately-owned power distributor.

The government is targeting to register a balanced budget by 2008.

But since it has so far missed its tax collection targets this year, it wants to seek an easy way of raising funds which is through the sale of assets and shares in some government and private corporations.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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