PhilHealth receives bulk of gov’t subsidies to GOCCs
THE GOVERNMENT distributed P3.707 billion in subsidies to state-run corporations in November, of which the bulk went to programs and projects of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
In November, PhilHealth received P2.255 billion or 60.8 percent of the subsidies given away that month. A tax-exempt government-owned and/or -controlled corporation (GOCC), PhilHealth administers the National Health Insurance Program, which was aimed at providing Filipinos health insurance coverage as well as accessible and affordable health care services.
The latest data on its website showed that as of mid-2015, PhilHealth covered 88 percent of the total projected population or more than 89.4 million beneficiaries, of which more than 38.5 million were members while nearly 50.9 million were dependents.
The total subsidies granted to GOCCs in November was 38-percent higher than the P2.685 billion distributed during the same month in 2014.
The other GOCCs that received subsidies in November were: The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (P2 million); Local Water Utilities Administration (P527 million); National Irrigation Administration or NIA (P720 million); Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (P124 million); Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (P9 million); Philippine National Railways (P14 million); Philippine Rice Research Institute (P39 million); People’s Television Network Inc. (P13 million); and Southern Philippines Development Authority (P4 million).
The Governance Commission for GOCCs earlier said that up to 90 percent of the total subsidies that GOCCs received were spent on projects and programs, while the rest covered operational expenses.
As of end-November, the government distributed P66.066 billion in subsidies, just 0.4-percent lower than the P66.323 billion given away during the first 11 months of 2014.
The government would ramp up budgetary support to state-run firms this year, as the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing document for fiscal year 2016 showed that the allotment for GOCCs would increase to P127.1 billion, from the projected P74 billion last year and the P80.3 billion released in 2014. Budgetary support for GOCCs comes in the form of subsidy, equity and net lending, net of tax subsidy and loans outlay, gross of special accounts.
Of the 2016 allocation, P96.1 billion would be subsidies; P31 billion, equity, and P26.5 million, net lending.
The amount of subsidies to be given away this year would exceed the record P78.9 billion released in 2014 and the P72.1 billion programmed for release last year.
Poised to receive the biggest subsidy in 2016 is the NIA with P32.7 billion, followed by the National Housing Authority’s P30.5 billion. The combined programmed subsidies for those two agencies would account for two-thirds of this year’s total.
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