Gov’t subsidies hit record P136.7B in ’18
The national government gave away a record P136.7 billion in subsidies to state-run corporations last year, with almost two-fifths received by Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
The latest Bureau of the Treasury data showed that subsidies to government-owned and -controlled corporations in 2018 exceeded by 4.2 percent the previous high of P131.1 billion in state support to GOCCs granted in 2017.
Last year, government financial institutions got P27 billion; major nonfinancial government corporations, P39.2 billion; and other government corporations, P70.4 billion.
As in previous years, PhilHealth—the agency that administers the national health insurance program—remained the top recipient of GOCC subsidies with P52.9 billion, or 38.7 percent of the 2018 total.
According to PhilHealth’s website, it had 51.6 million members with 48.8 million dependents as of mid-2018.
Its total number of beneficiaries reached 100.4 million as of June last year, or 94 percent of the projected 2018 population of 106.3 million.
The other GOCCs that cornered the bulk of subsidies in 2018 were the National Irrigation Administration (P28.4 billion) and Land Bank of the Philippines (P25.6 billion).
According to the Governance Commission for GOCCs, up to 90 percent of the subsidies that state corporations receive were being spent on programs and projects while the rest covered operational expenses. —BEN O. DE VERA
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