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Business

Subsidies triple in August

Prinz Magtulis - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - Money given to state agencies nearly tripled in August from a year ago driven mainly by subsidies to two government-owned and –controlled corporations (GOCCs), latest data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.

Total subsidies amounted to P8.802 billion, up by nearly threefold from P3.075 billion last year. Eleven GOCCs and government financial institutions (GFIs) benefited from national government grants that month.

Cornering half of total subsidies, the National Housing Authority (NHA) topped the list with P4.414 billion, figures showed. It was followed by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) that got P3.789 billion.

The NHA is the primary housing agency of the government, while PSALM handles the state’s debts in the energy sector as well as the privatization of existing state power assets to generate new source of funding.

Subsidies are given by the government to GOCCs and GFIs to cover for their financing needs during the entire fiscal year.

In turn, GOCCs and GFIs annually remit part of their operating proceeds to national coffers. Subsidies form part of government expenditures, while GOCC remittances are considered state revenues.

In August, the other agencies that received subsidies and the amount they were each granted were the Cultural Center of the Philippines (P73 million), the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (P52 million), Lung Center of the Philippines (P70 million), National Dairy Authority (P72 million), National Irrigation Administration (P99 million) and the National Power Corp. (P97 million).

Rounding out the list were the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (P43 million), Philippine Heart Center (P32 million), Philippine National Railways (P14 million), People’s Television Network Inc. (P17 million), Southern Philippines Development Authority (P4 million) and the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (P22 million).

From January to August, aggregate subsidies totaled P55.09 billion, still down by 7 percent from last year’s 59.243 billion, figures showed.

Subsidies form part of the National Government’s total expenditures, which amounted to P161.6 billion in August, up 15 percent amid the Aquino administration’s effort to accelerate spending after a dismal first half.

For the first eight months, disbursements reached P1.444 trillion, up 11 percent year-on-year.

In his 2011 State of the Nation Address, President Aquino himself castigated GOCCs for underperforming while continuously receiving money from state coffers, particularly to fund huge bonuses to executives.

This led to the passage of Republic Act 10149 or GOCC Governance Act of 2011, which established the Governance Commission on GOCCs as the primary overseer of GOCC and GFI operations.

However since 2010, subsidies have still consistently gone up, except in 2012 when the GOCC law was enacted.

Data showed that from 2012 to 2013, subsidies increased 55.6 percent, while from 2013 to 2014, it went up by 21.27 percent.

 

ACIRC

BILLION

BUREAU OF THE TREASURY

CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES

FROM JANUARY

GOVERNANCE ACT

GOVERNANCE COMMISSION

GOVERNMENT

MILLION

NATIONAL

SUBSIDIES

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