P2.54 billion worth of government assets to be sold

Lady Vicencio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2023 08:01 PM

MANILA - The Privatization and Management Office aims to sell 143 government assets estimated to be worth P2.54 billion to generate more funds for the state’s priority projects. 

Among government assets approved for sale are Emmanuel Community Hospital, properties of the Technology Resource Center, and the Elorde Sports and Tourism Development Corporation.

The Department of Finance said In the first six months of the Marcos administration, P800 million was generated from asset sales, exceeding the P664 million generated from 2019 to 2021.

Colliers International Associate Research Director Joey Bondoc meanwhile said selling idle government properties is a win-win situation for the government and property firms, as the assets on sale are in prime locations and are due for redevelopment.

“Those have high traffic properties… For the government, it enables them to raise non-tax revenues. The developers, they can have access to these very good properties that they can develop into integrated communities, office buildings, malls, even hotels,” Bondoc said. 

Bondoc added that revenues from selling government assets can be used to finance social, education, and health programs.

As the property market recovers from the pandemic, firms have also gotten more aggressive in looking for properties to be developed. He added that higher interest rates shouldn’t be a problem, even though this makes buying real estate with borrowed money more expensive.

“They will consider the interest rates but definitely they will be positioning once the market recovers and the only option for them to really position themselves in a property market that is starting to recover is to start acquiring properties that they can redevelop eventually in the next 5 or 7 years otherwise they will be left behind,” Bondoc explained.

Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares questioned the privatization of a community hospital and the sale of 3.46 percent government shares in NLEX Corporation. 

“Hindi ba maganda na gobyerno ang magpapatakbo ng NLEX? Kasi yung magpapatakbo niyan ang unang gusto, tubo. Hindi ko maintindihan ang nagbebenta ng share sa NLEX na at least may say ka sa loob ng korporasyon na yan para madependsahan mo na naman ang tao in case mag-impose ng unjust toll increases,” Colmenares said.

Colmenares emphasized that the government should prioritize improving health services and service utilities instead of privatizing them.

“Nabawasan ang assets mo na pwede sanang magamit ng tao. Hindi maganda ang karanasan natin sa privatization lalo sa tubig, kuryente, transportasyon… Questionable ang pagpili ng government assets na maaari sang gamitin para magserve sa health, education, at ospital,” Colmenares said.