SUBSIDIES extended by the national government for the first half of this year settled at P88.3 billion, almost a third down from the same period a year ago.
Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed the amount of subsidies handed out to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) from January to June this year was 31.4 percent lower than last year’s P128.7 billion.
This was also 50.5 percent below the P178.2- billion program for subsidy releases set by the government during the period, based on the national government disbursement performance report by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Total subsidy released during the period was down year-on-year mostly due to the one-time P51-billion Small Business Wage Subsidy Program implemented through the Social Security System in April and May 2020, according to DBM.
The budget department also noted in the same report that subsidy fell below the program due to the timing of releases pending submission of special budget releases by the GOCCs, such as the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Bases Conversion and Development Authority, National Housing Authority (NHA) and National Electrification Administration.
“The delays in the request from the said GOCCs may be attributed to compliance [with] documentary requirements, and late submission of progress billings from contractors,” it said.
For the first semester of this year, PhilHealth received more than half or P45.46 billion of the total subsidies given out during the period.
Trailing PhilHealth are NIA which received P16.84 billion, NHA (P7.3 billion), National Food Authority (P7 billion), and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (P1.75 billion).
June subsidies 80% down
For June alone, the government only released P8.34 billion in GOCC subsidies. This was an 80.16-percent plunge from last year’s P42.03 billion.
Taking the biggest subsidy for the month of June is the NIA, which received P2.65 billion. It was then followed by NHA (P2.12 billion), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (P903 million), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (P824 million), and the Philippine Coconut Authority (P597 million).
The national government provides subsidies to state-run firms to fund operations not covered by the corporate revenues or to finance specific programs or projects.
Last year, the national government spent a total of P229.02 billion in subsidies to GOCCs, the highest since 1986 when the government started collecting data. PhilHealth cornered the biggest allocation, receiving P62.4 billion or 27.25 percent of the total subsidies released during the period.