Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Government now free to sell shares to San Miguel costing P83.7B

Government now free to sell shares to San Miguel costing P83.7B

I don't think it would be appropriate for the national government to tap for infrastructure spending even a portion of the P83.7 billion coco levy funds that could be raised should any interested bidder is able to buy the 24 percent government shares from SMC. Since this huge sums of money is owned by the millions of coconut farmers nationwide, perhaps, what the government can do is to invest the money somewhere (without any hanky panky) through a conduit of their choice and then issue dividends to the farmers on a yearly basis or whatever options had been agreed upon among themselves.

Perhaps, part of the money could also be used to set up a copra buying stations and processing mills in most copra-producing provinces in the country. In this way, the coconut farmers will not become victims of middle men who buy the copra at a lower price and sell the same at a much higher price in the markets.

Should the stock sale prospers, the national government will be left without any choice but to ensure that farm-to-market roads are constructed in remote areas where vast coconut plantations abound. In this way, it will be much more convenient and easier for the coconut farmers to transport their goods to the nearest copra buying stations in the provinces.

At this time, it is public knowledge that the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), a publicly-listed company in the Philippines, has sufficient resources to buy back the 24 percent government shares in the conglomerate. And it will be a big plus for SMC if it will retain control over these shares, rather than dispose of them in the future. At this juncture, SMC chair Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco controls majority of the stocks of the company. Unless, he has more than enough resources to buy some, if not the whole of the government stakes in SMC, he could do it if he wants to keep his post as SMC's chair.

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