Subsidies to state firms hit P2.1B in August
The government extended P2.1 billion in subsidies to state-owned and -controlled corporations in August.
The bulk of the amount went to entities engaged in power, crops, health, and development projects.
Data from the Bureau of the Treasury show that the August subsidy was 25 times more than the P86 million a year ago.
This put the cumulative subsidies granted to 30 state firms in the first eight months of the year to P17.4 billion, increasing by 86 percent from P9.35 billion in the same period last year.
The increase in eight-month spending on subsidies was observed amid Malacañang efforts to make national agencies “catch up” with planned expenditure following a sluggish spending in the first semester.
The top recipient during the eight-month period was the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth with P5.122 billion.
Earlier this year, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said Malacañang has released P5 billion to cover the government’s counterpart funding for indigents’ health insurance for 2007-2010, “which were left unpaid by the previous administration.”
Abad said the release partly fulfilled the P6.5-billion unpaid obligations of the Arroyo administration to PhilHealth.
He said the balance of P1.5B was scheduled for release soon.
Abad cited a report from the Commission on Audit, which said that the nonpayment of these obligations would adversely affect PhilHealth’s operations and financial position in the long run.
The other top five recipients of government subsidies from January to August were National Power Corp. (Napocor) with P3.624 billion; National Food Authority, P2.5 billion; National Housing Authority, P2.209 billion, and National Livelihood Development Corp., P1.397 billion.
Napocor was the top recipient for August, getting P1.624 million during that month.
Other agencies that received substantial subsidies in August were Philippine Coconut Authority with P112 million; Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., P76 million; Philippine Children’s Medical Center, P60 million, and Development Academy of the Philippines, P45 million.
Last week, the Bureau of the Treasury reported that state spending in the eight months to August reached P947.2 billion or 8 percent less than the P1.03 trillion incurred in the same period last year.
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