GOCC subsidies rise 3-fold in September

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The national government extended P54.7 billion in subsidies to state-owned corporations last September, bulk of which went to Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to support of its health insurance program, data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed.

According to the latest cash operations report of the Treasury, national government subsidies to government-owned and –controlled corporations (GOCCs) for the month of September surged almost three times to P54.7 billion from P19.58 billion a year ago.

This brought cumulative budgetary support to state-owned firms to P151.5 billion in the first nine months of the year, 21.36 percent higher than the P124.83 billion recorded a year ago.

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

BTr data showed that 31 GOCCs received subsidies from the national government last September, higher than the 25 who received the same in the previous month.

They were led by PhilHealth, which received P29.76 billion in financial aid during the month. The state firm is in charge of administering the government’s health insurance program, and expanding the health insurance coverage in the country, including indigent families.

This was followed by the Land Bank of the Philippines with P12 billion in subsidies. The bank administers the government’s social programs, including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Pantawid Pasada by distributing the funds to the intended beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, P7.54 billion in subsidies went to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), which implements irrigation projects all over the country and provides free irrigation to small scale farmers.

The BTr said the Small Business Corp. also received P1.25 billion in budgetary support, while the Philippine Coconut Authority and the National Food Authority received P726 million and P668 million, respectively.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. was also extended P581 million in aid, along with the Sugar Regulatory Administration with P334 million, Philippine Postal Corp. with P295 million, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority with P186 million.

Other GOCCs that received subsidies include the Social Housing Finance Corp. (P176 million), Philippine Heart Center (P175 million), National Power Corp. (P167 million), Philippine Rice Research Institute (P123 million), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (P122 million), and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (P118 million).

A total of 15 other GOCCs were also given subsidies amounting to less than P100 million each during the period.

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

In 2018, subsidies amounted to P136.652 billion, 4.24 percent up from the end-2017 level of P131.088 billion in 2017. 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 full-year 2019, based on the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing of the Department of Budget and Management.

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