SUBSIDIES extended by the national government to state-run firms in August surged eight-fold to P42.35 billion, with state health insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) receiving the bulk of the amount.

Latest data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed that the total subsidies received by government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) in August was way higher than the amount released in the same month last year at P4.99 billion.

In August this year, PhilHealth cornered P30.61 billion or 72.3 percent of the total subsidies released for the month.

In the same month in 2020, PhilHealth did not receive any amount from the national government.

Next to PhilHealth, the second biggest subsidy in August was given to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) at P6 billion, while the National Housing Authority (NHA) got P2.99 billion.

For January to August, GOCCs received subsidies of P136.72 billion, down by 9.8 percent from P151.61 billion in the same period in 2020.

Taking the lion’s share of the amount was also PhilHealth, which received a total of P76.06 billion in the eight-month period. This is also equivalent to more than double the subsidy it received in the same period last year at only P30.3 billion.

Trailing PhilHealth are NIA (P25.61 billion), NHA (P11.78 billion), National Food Authority (P7 billion) and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (P1.75 billion).

The national government provides subsidies to state-run firms to fund operations not covered by the corporate revenues or to finance specific programs or projects.

Last year, the national government spent a total of P229.02 billion in subsidies to GOCCs, the highest since 1986 when the government started collecting data. PhilHealth cornered the biggest allocation, receiving P62.4 billion or 27.25 percent of the total subsidies released during the period.

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