DOF eyes sale of more gov’t assets, mining rights

The government is planning to sell more of its assets this year, the Department of Finance (DOF) said. “Last year we already sold I think something like PHP1.5 billion assets, and then for this year, we’re aiming to sell more,” Finance undersecretary for privatization and corporate affairs group Catherine Fong said in a briefing late Friday. Fong said they are mostly looking at real estate properties. “There’s still a lot under the ownership of government under the Privatization Management Office (PMO) that we’re intending to roll out faster. We’re aiming for higher than last year. Definitely double that or at least higher,” Fong added. She said they are aiming just for PMO properties, adding however that there are still a lot of government assets for disposition. Fong said they want to auction the 2.2 hectare Mile Long property in Makati City. “Then we’re hoping to sell this year or next year some mining rights still owned by the government,” she said. Fong said that for now, what’s hindering the government from auctioning one of the mining rights is the verification of the content of mine itself. “A lot of the feasibility studies are still desktop. So we’re having the valuation done, but definitely there are a lot who are interested. We’re being assisted right now by the German government, and we’ve also received offers from the US government and Australian government to assist us in assessing the value of the mines and to help us in packaging it for auction, so definitely there’s a lot of local and foreign interest once we’re ready to auction the mines,” she said. Fong said the government currently has four mining rights. “We have four, as I understand, they’re quite big, but some are still under litigation, so we’re not prepared to auction it out yet, but at least one already has a clean title, so we’re going with that [Basay Mine] first, but we’re still in the process of validating its actual value,” said Fong. Fong explained that the government is looking at not just outright auctioning the Basay Mines but also asking development partners to assist them on a possible joint venture. “There’s a technical term for it in mining, some sharing agreement. We’re trying to get assistance on the modern good practices in the mining industry on how to sell it, we’re trying to package it in a more responsible way,” she noted.

Source: Philippines News Agency