PASAY CITY — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) remitted PhP3.5 billion in dividends to the National Government (NG) for the fiscal year 2018, its highest ever in history.

CAAP, a member of the “Billionaires’ Club,” an elite circle of Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) that remit billions of pesos to the NG, has a computed dividend payable of PhP958.5 million for 2018. However, the state aviation authority has reported an excess cash of PhP2.55 billion and deemed it appropriate to increase the dividend payment to PhP3.5 billion while still maintaining its economic viability.

The fiscal performance of CAAP has markedly improved under the Duterte administration. It can be remembered that under the previous administration, CAAP refused to remit dividends from 2011 to 2015, arguing that under Republic Act No. 9497, or the Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008, it has full fiscal autonomy. However, through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade’s strong sense of fiscal accountability, CAAP under the Duterte administration started remitting to the NG.

For its 2017 fiscal year, the aviation authority paid PhP6.2 billion in dividends, topping the list among state-owned agencies under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) that remitted the highest amount of dividends to the NG.

The 2017 dividend represented CAAP’s net income then, amounting to PhP3.22 billion, and the inclusion of PhP3 billion worth of unpaid dividend arrears.

In 2018, the agency performed even better with a notable growth of around PhP280 million in net income.

Secretary Tugade lauded the CAAP for its substantial contribution to the NG, noting that such fiscal accomplishment cascades back to the public by pump-priming the economy through government spending on projects, programs, and services.

“CAAP has maintained a very strong fiscal performance, consistently outperforming itself year after year. As custodians of public trust, it is but right that government agencies like CAAP dispense their monetary functions with prudence, efficiency, and transparency. This is one way of adhering to President Duterte’s directive of giving the Filipinos a comfortable life,” Secretary Tugade said.

CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco, for his part, said the agency remains steadfast in its mission of serving the best interest of the Filipino people.

“The flying public can be assured that while we remain keen on making our airspace safe, we shall continue to be honest and judicious in our fiscal functions. As directed by Secretary Tugade, we steer clear of corruption for we truly look forward to providing better facilities and services for the connectivity and mobility of Filipinos,” DG Sydiongco expressed.