PICC firm owes government P150 million, say state auditors
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine International Convention Center Incorporated (PICCI) owes the national government around P150 million ($2.87 million), the Commission on Audit (COA) reported.
This is equivalent to 50% of its net earnings in 2017, worth around P300 million ($5.75 million).
"Dividends amounting to P150.327 million for CY 2017 net earnings (were) not remitted to the national government, contrary to the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7656," said COA in an audit report released on April 16.
PICCI is the firm that runs the 42-year-old Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the first international convention center in Asia.
PICCI had argued that the Dividends Law does not cover their company, because their annual budget is sourced not from the General Appropriations Act, but from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
State auditors said however that RA 7656 defines a government-owned and -controlled corporation as a "stock or non-stock corporation vested with function relating to public needs, whether governmental or propriety in nature, and owned by the National Government directly or through its instrumentalities."
COA said: "In view of the above provision of the law, the PICCI is owned by the NG (national government) through one of its instrumentalities, the BSP. Although the PICCI declared cash dividends, the remittance to the BSP and not directly to the NG, is a violation of the provisions of the Revised IRR of RA No. 7656." – Rappler.com
*$1 = P52.08