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Business

Subsidies to GOCCs shrink 19% in 2021

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Subsidies provided to state-run firms shrank by 19 percent in 2021 as the government used up funds to trim its widening budget shortfall.

Based on data from the Bureau of the Treasury, subsidies for government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) dropped to P184.77 billion in 2021 from P229.02 billion in 2020.

Subsidies for government financial institutions or GFIs fell by about 94 percent to just P1.47 billion from P23.76 billion, due to a 98 percent decline for Land Bank of the Philippines.

On the other hand, subsidies for major non-financial government corporations went up by nearly four percent to P76.71 billion. For other government corporations, funding support dropped by 19 percent to P106.59 billion.

Among major non-financial government corporations, the National Irrigation Administration took up half of the volume at P38.31 billion. The National Housing Authority accounted for more than a third at P25.71 billion, while the Philippine National Railways cornered P1.94 billion.

For other government corporations, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth received the bulk of the amount at P38.31 billion.

In 2020, PhilHealth also obtained the largest subsidies among all GOCCs at P62.4 billion as the government had to increase its share due to the medical demands of the pandemic.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority, for its part, got P4.85 billion, followed by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp.’s (PCIC) P4.61 billion.

Although GOCCs raise income to get them through their day-to-day operations, they also rely on subsidies to bankroll their programs and projects that their revenues can no longer cover.

The government has to bring down its subsidies moving forward given its target of narrowing its budget deficit in 2022 and onward.

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