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PhilHealth gets biggest share of gov’t subsidy to state firms

/ 05:08 AM January 21, 2019

Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) remained the top recipient of subsidies granted by the government to state-run corporations in the first 11 months of 2018.

The latest Bureau of the Treasury data showed that the end-November subsidies received by PhilHealth, which administers the national health insurance program, reached P52.95 billion, accounting for almost 40 percent of the 11-month total.

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From January to November, subsidies to government-owned and/or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) hit P134.47 billion.

According to PhilHealth’s website, it had 51.6 million members with 48.8 million dependents as of the middle of last year, such that the total number of beneficiaries reached 100.4 million out of the estimated 2018 population of 106.3 million.

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PhilHealth was also granted with the biggest amount of subsidy by the government in 2017, at P47.2 billion.

In the first 11 months of 2018, the other GOCCs that cornered the bulk of subsidies were the National Irrigation Administration or NIA (P27.96 billion) and Land Bank of the Philippines (P25.14 billion).

In November alone, GOCC subsidies reached P8.09 billion, which the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said in a report was “P2.1 billion more than the previous year’s level largely due to releases to the NIA for payment of completed irrigation projects and to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority for power subsidy to qualified Peza-registered firms.”

Up to 90 percent of the subsidies that state corporations received were being spent on programs and projects, while the remainder covered operational expenses, according to the Governance Commission for GOCCs.—BEN O. DE VERA

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