MANILA, Philippines – Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), the operator of the 54,000-hectare Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZP), has remitted to the National Treasury more than P234 million, representing 60 percent of its 2015 income.
CEZA said the 2015 dividend payment represented a 53-percent increase over the 2014 figure. As a government-owned-and-controlled-corporation (GOCC), CEZA is required to remit at least 50 percent of its annual net earnings as cash, stock or property dividends to the national government.
This is on top of the 30-percent corporate income tax it paid to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the taxes paid by CEZA locators and other income generated by other government agencies through CEZA-related operations.
CEZA administrator and CEO Jose Mari B. Ponce said the annual remittance of CEZA to the government has been increasing despite the challenges faced by the agency.
“The past couple of years have been a challenging time for CEZA as it faced major challenges that brought a dramatic decrease to its income, but the organization’s resilience, flexibility and the management’s responsive rebranding strategy have collectively contributed to CEZA’s positive performance,” Ponce said.
“Since its first remittance, its contribution has increased drastically over the years and, with its recent P152-million remittance for its 2014 dividend’s share, it is now posing a significant 53 percent increase from the previous year,” he said.
Out of the P234.296 dividend payment, CEZA initially remitted P47.027 million. On April 29, 2016 during the GOCC Day, CEZA remitted another P187.18 million to complete its 2015 dividend payment.
CEZA is ranked 16th among 54 GOCCs with the highest dividend share last year. This means CEZA has been operating on profit over the past several years, on top of being an economic growth nexus in northeastern Luzon.
Data from the BIR also show CEZA paid P129.735 million income tax in 2014, making it the ninth top taxpayer among GOCCs. CEZA and CSEZP were created in 1995 under Republic Act 7922, which was enacted into law to bring economic growth, employment and decentralized development in northeastern Luzon.
CEZA manages and develops CSEZFP, which covers the entire town of Santa Ana in Cagayan province as well as the islands of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag in the town of Aparri. CSEZP is rising as a major transshipment hub, an agro industrial growth center, and a tourism and eco-tourism haven in northeastern Philippines.