Gov’t subsidies down 11.9% in first 7 months
MANILA, Philippines—The government gave out P1.2 billion in subsidies to state-owned and -controlled corporations in July, the bulk of which went to entities engaged in projects related to housing, irrigation, crops and health.
Documents from the Bureau of the Treasury showed that the amount was 11.4 percent higher than the P1.1 billion given out in the same month of 2011.
This brought cumulative subsidies to state firms for the first seven months of the year to P13.4 billion, or 11.9 percent less than the P15.3 billion given in the same period last year.
The increase in January-July spending on subsidies was observed as the national government’s spending went up by 15.1 percent during the seven-month period.
Expenditures for July alone went up by 21.8 percent, prompting Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad to say that national government spending was “definitely gaining momentum” and that continually faster spending could be expected for the rest of the year.
Abad said improvements in expenditures were bolstered by increased activity in project implementation among departments and agencies.
He said that because of continuing improvements in spending growth, the fiscal deficit in July alone went up to P39.2 billion, which brought January-July deficit to P73.7 billion or more than double the P34.5 billion posted in the entire first half.
Last week, the Treasury reported that the government’s aggregate spending in the seven months to July reached P958 billion, or 71 percent of the program for the first three quarters.
The top recipient of expenses on subsidies to state firms in the first seven months was the National Food Authority (NFA) with P4 billion.
Others in the top five recipients of subsidies were Philippine Health Insurance Corp., or PhilHealth, with P2.1 billion; National Housing Authority (NHA), P1.8 billion; National Electrification Administration, P1.6 billion; and National Irrigation Administration (NIA), P1 billion.
For July, the NHA was the top recipient, getting P600 million, or about half of the total subsidies during the month.
Other firms and agencies that got the biggest subsidies in July were the NIA with P257 million; Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., P108 million; National Kidney and Transplant Institute, P75 million, and Philippine Children’s Medical Center, 60 million.
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