Government on track to meet 2010 privatization goal

By VG Cabuag, Business Mirror

Posted at Oct 21 2010 08:52 AM | Updated as of Oct 21 2010 05:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government has so far sold between P500 million and P600 million in state assets this year. Most of the assets were “small ticket” real-estate items.

Finance Undersecretary John Philip Sevilla said the government remained confident in meeting its P2-billion goal from its privatization measures for 2010, even with just less than two months remaining in the year.

“We are confident we could still sell other items before the end of the year,” Sevilla said. He did not give specifics on the items that were sold.

The P2-billion goal was set by the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee. Officials are still discussing whether to proceed with the sale of the government’s 10% stake in Malampaya gas-to-power project.

The proposed sale is being opposed by the board of the Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp., which warned that it could prove disadvantageous to the government, considering the questionable circumstances hounding the proposed sales.

The government expects at least P16 billion from the sale of the Malampaya natural-gas project, which fuels three power plants that have a combined output of 2,700 megawatts.

The proceeds from the privatization efforts were included in the revenue targets of the government aimed at meeting its budget-deficit ceiling of P325 billion, or 3.9% of the country’s gross domestic product.?