Gov't to raise P2-B from privatization

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 09 2012 06:44 AM | Updated as of Aug 09 2012 07:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration targets to raise P2 billion from the privatization of state-owned assets in 2013, unchanged from this year’s goal, according to the government’s 2013 expenditure program.

Finance Undersecretary for privatization John Philip Sevilla said there is no specific line-up yet of assets to be privatized next year but the goal is to sell P2 billion worth of these state-owned properties.

“There’s no specific list of assets yet but we are targeting to raise P2 billion,” he said.

He said the assets to be put on the auction block might include idle lots owned by the government.

The Philippine Postal Corp. may also be privatized but Sevilla said it’s still a long way to go before this can happen.

The Department of Finance is studying the possibility of privatizing Philpost as some investors have expressed interest in converting the property into a hotel.

The P 2-billion privatization goal forms part of the programmed revenues of P1.780 trillion for 2013.

The government has a program to disburse P2.021 trillion next year, according to the 2013 expenditure program submitted to Congress.

For this year, the Aquino administration set a target to generate P2 billion from the sale of state-owned assets, a conservative goal given the difficulties encountered by previous administrations when selling government properties.

The P2-billion target for 2012 does not include yet proceeds from the sale of the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) complex, which the government is scheduled to bid out on Aug. 14.

The government is auctioning off 74 hectares of the 103-hectare FTI agro-industrial estate, which has attracted seven of the country’s biggest business groups.

The potential bidders are Gokongwei-owned Robinson’s Land Corp., Andrew Tan’s Empire East Lane, the Ayala Group’s Ayala Land Inc., the Lopezes’ Rockwell Land Corp., the Sy family’s SM Land Inc., Andrew Gotianun’s Filinvest Land Inc., and Century Properties Group Inc., owned by the family of Jose Antonio.

The government has set a floor price of P10.2 billion for the property.