The government plans to overhaul the operations of government-owned and -controlled corporations by stripping them of commercial functions, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Monday.
Dominguez said the government was looking at splitting the commercial and regulatory functions of several GOCCs, including the National Food Authority, and continue the privatization of government’s power assets handled by Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.
“We will continue the privatization program, particularly in PSALM where the [energy] assets are. So we’re also making a big push in privatization,” Dominguez told reporters at the sidelines of the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee hearing at the House of Representatives.
Dominguez denied reports the government might abolish NFA. “That has been discussed and still under discussion. It’s not abolition of NFA. It’s separating the commercial from regulatory functions,” Dominguez said.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. earlier said he would recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the abolition of NFA, National Irrigation Administration and National Electrification Administration.
Evasco said NFA might be turned into pure regulatory body, after incurring a P167-billion debt. He said NEA was also causing trouble to hundreds of electric cooperatives.
Dominguez said the government should be involved only in regulatory functions and dispose off commercial functions.
The Finance Department earlier said it planned to unload more properties for privatization, including United Coconut Planters Bank and Philippine Postal Bank in three years.
Dominguez said the government also planned to privatize casinos and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., which handles regulations of the gaming industry and the operation of state-owned casinos.
“I am sure those will be under consideration, also the banks that we still have,” Dominguez said.
The government also runs the LandBank of the Philippines, the country’s third largest lender by assets, and the Development Bank of the Philippines, one of the ten largest banks.
Dominguez earlier opposed the plan to merge the two state-owned banks.