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GOCC subsidies reach P5.74 B in March

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - April 29, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The national government has granted P5.74 billion in subsidies to state-owned corporations last March, the bulk of which went to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the National Food Authority (NFA), according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

According to the latest cash operations report of the Treasury, subsidies to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) in March amounted to P5.74 billion, 83.7 percent lower than the P35.24 billion recorded in the same month last year.

This brought total GOCC subsidies to P9.30 billion in the first three months, nearly 80 percent lower than last year’s level of P45.29 billion.

The national government provides subsidies to state-owned firms to cover their funds for programs and projects, as well as operational expenses.

Based on BTr data, NIA received the largest budgetary support last March, which amounted to P3.59 billion. This is slightly higher than the P3.45 billion it accepted in the same month in 2018.

NIA implements irrigation projects all over the country, and provides free irrigation to small scale farmers.

It was followed by the NFA, which was given P1.065 billion in assistance.

With the passage of the Rice Tariffication Act, which became effective on March 5, the NFA’s regulatory and rice import licensing functions were stripped. The agency’s mandate now focuses on the maintenance of emergency rice buffer stocks.

Meanwhile, BTr data also showed that the national government extended subsidies to the Philippine National Railways and National Privacy Commission amounting to P296 million and P273 million, respectively.

Other GOCCs which received subsidies last March include the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (P98 million), Philippine Heart Center (P74 million), Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (P57 million), National Kidney and Transplant Institute (P50 million), Philippine Rice Research Institute (P49 million), Small Business Corp. (P42 million), Lung Center of the Philippines (P37 million), Cultural Center of the Philippines (P24 million), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (P19 million), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (P14 million), and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (P11 million), among others.

Eight other state-run firms were also granted with subsidies amounting to less than P10 million each.

Subsidies to GOCCs form part of the national government’s expenditures.

In 2018, government subsidies to GOCCs amounted to P136.652 billion, 4.24 percent higher than the end-2017 level of P131.088 billion. This was, however, lower than the P162.55 billion subsidies programmed for the whole year.

GOCC subsidies are projected to increase to P187.085 billion for this year, based on the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing of the Department of Budget and Management.

NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION
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