GOCCs subsidies surge 469% in May

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - June 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Subsidies granted to state-owned corporations rose by almost six-fold in May as the government continued to release support for the second tranche of the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

Budgetary support to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) amounted to P29.8 billion in May, a dramatic increase of 469 percent from P5.24 billion in the same month last year.

This brought the total of subsidies to P100.37 billion from January to May, higher by 411 percent from last year’s level of P19.66 billion.

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

Based on Treasury data, the Social Security System (SSS) once again received the highest amount of subsidies in May, receiving another P25.5 billion for the second tranche of cash aids to employees of small businesses.

This completed the P51 billion total budgetary requirement for the SBWS program.

Last April, the agency also received the same amount, which was likewise used for the distribution of subsidies to small business workers who were affected by work stoppages due to the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the SSS were the National Irrigation Administration and the National Power Corp., which were given P1.81 billion and P936 million, respectively.

The National Food Authority likewise received P600 million in subsidies, while the Local Water Utilities Administration acquired P237 million.

Meanwhile, budgetary support to the Philippine Heart Center reached P118 million, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, P106 million; and National Housing Authority, P100 million.

Earlier, the BTr said the second tranche of the SBWS program drove the 12.38 percent acceleration in government disbursements in May, which amounted to P353.6 billion.

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