Solon asks gov't to curate non-performing assets
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto said the government’s reported plan to sell off its non-performing assets (NPAs) should be “curated well” so it would not lead to a “fire sale” of state-owned land, businesses and franchises, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
“The rule in privatization is that we should not be selling the geese that lay the golden eggs,” the 6th District of Batangas representative said in a statement. “We should be careful that what remains of state crown jewels are not included in a baratilyo (bargain) sale simply because we are raising funds for a project.”
In inventorying what can be sold, he said the strategic value of a company “should not come ahead of the chance to make a fast buck out of the sale.”
“Meron tayong stewardship role na ginagampanan para sa susunod na henerasyon (We have stewardship role duty for the next generations),” Recto said.
He added that if “derelict assets” are successfully auctioned off, proceeds should be earmarked for “activities high in both social and financial return of investments (ROIs), like housing.”
“Kung lahat ng mga Taipans nagkakandarapa magpatayo ng condo kasi may kita doon, bakit hindi ito ang pondohan ng pamahalaan – ang pagpapatayo ng abot-kayang tirahan (If all Taipans are too eager to build condos because they earn there, why doesn’t the government fund it – the construction of affordable homes),” Recto said.
He said the microscopic share of shelter agencies to the national budget – less than 1/10th of 1 percent – prompts the use of “off-budget sources” to wipe out the estimated 6.658 million housing backlog.
The Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD) and its attached agencies account for PHP4.7 billion of the PHP5.26 trillion national budget this year.
“Kaya ‘yang pabahay ang dapat pondohan, hindi lang ng Maharlika Investment Fund, pati ng pambansang budget na rin (The housing program should be funded, not only by the Maharlika Investment Fund, but also by the national budget),” he said.
At PHP1 million per unit, the DHSUD said it would require PHP6.658 trillion to erase the shelter deficit.
“’Yan ay 127 percent na kaagad ng national budget (And that is already 127 percent of the national budget),” Recto said.
He said the land required alone for the 6.658 million units is about 61,000 hectares, “which is about 15 times the land area of Manila.”
Recto said building up the shelter inventory in numbers not seen before is not mission impossible under the Marcos administration.
“One, you have as Secretary of Housing a proven builder, the first time in history,” he said. "Second, housing is in the legacy agenda of President BBM because he has to do better than his mom, who built those BLISS condos, which remain a good template for mass housing.”
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