Now That the Gov't Owns Those Shares

Manila Bulletin, January 26, 2007 | Go to article overview

Now That the Gov't Owns Those Shares


Byline: Elinando Cinco

WHEN the Supreme Court very recently ruled that the P25.4 billion worth of PTIC shares in the PLDT are owned by the government, their enormous value has become an attraction for detractors from all sectors to howl absurd speculations.

Yes, there are critics of the administration who are endowed with fertile imagination.

But what is fortuitous is that the government, having been awarded the fortune by the High Court, will now be able to use that money to: (1) fund many vital projects; (2) enable fiscal managers in methodically balancing the national budget until 2009; and (3) ensure that the providence will be used to generate more jobs and livelihoods for millions of Filipinos.

No, it now appears that some administration doomsday-seers will have none of those.

One of them is reportedly a public events handler who, it seems, has quoted one lawmaker as not at all in favor of the proposed sale of the shares, and issuing statements to that effect attributed to the solon.

Of course, the lawmaker denied it. That did not stop the hidden persuader from bellowing that the R25.4 billion awarded to the government will be used to ensure the victory of administration candidates come the May elections.

One observer said that the guy needs to be lectured on government operations. Basic lesson No. 1: Government spending is based on general appropriations and these are open to public scrutiny. He can be given the privilege of being the first to take a look at them.

From there he will be able to know that it is sanely impossible to make R25 billion disappear without a paper trail!

Moreover, one prominent development on the case is that several congressmen and senators from opposing parties, seeing the wisdom of the government's bidding the shares, crossed party lines and endorsed the sale.

In the same vein that the private sector and labor groups cited the economic benefits to be gained from the sale of the assets, previously sequestered, now concurred by the High Court decision in favor of the government, from Prime Holdings, Inc. …

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