Sale of PAGCOR, Bilibid land to fund COVID-19 response backed

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2021 10:37 AM

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MANILA - Senator Franklin Drilon on Thursday backed a proposal for government to sell some of its properties to help raise money for the COVID-19 response.

Drilon said the GOCC (Government-owned and controlled corporations) Governance Act which he authored gives the President the power to sell government-owned properties like the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

“Walang pera ang pamahalaan ngayon at malaki ang budget deficit natin kaya siguro marami namang ari-arian ang pamahalaan na pwedeng ibenta,” Drilon said in an interview on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

“Doon sa estimate ng Department of Finance, mga P300 billion ang pwedeng kitain sa pagbenta ng PAGCOR at itong PAGCOR naman ay sugal. Bakit ang pamahalaan ang nagpapatakbo. Hindi po tama na ang pamahalaan ang nagpapatakbo ng casino at ito po ay isang ari-arian na pwede nating ibenta sa private sector at kikita, ang estimate ng Department of Finance, aabot sa mahigit P300 bilyon,” he said.

Another asset that the government can sell is the land where the National Bilibid Prison is located in Muntinlupa City. 

“Matagal na dapat ilipat ang Bilibid Penitentiary doon sa Nueva Ecija. Hanggang ngayon hindi magalaw. Siguro sa buong mundo, ang ating Bilibid ang pinakamahal na piitan dahil ang mahal ng lupain d'yan,” he said.

DOF data as of April 8, 2021 stated that the government got a total of USD15.49 billion or approximately P755.32 billion in loans and grants for its COVID-19 response.

“Imbes na umutang tayo, wala namang income yung Bilibid penitentiary, kailangang ibenta natin para unang-una magkaroon tayo ng pera sa pamahalaan, hindi na kailangang umutang. Pangalawa, madedevelop po yan ng private sector and it will create economic activity,” he said.