GOVERNMENT subsidies extended to state-run firms surged in August, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.
Twenty government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) secured P31.80 billion, a 513.48-percent rise from P5.03 billion in the same month last year.
The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) accounted for the bulk, or P27.69 billion, of total subsidies in the month.
PhilHealth is responsible for administering the country’s health insurance program, particularly the Universal Health Care program that aims to provide Filipino families equitable access to quality and affordable health care services.
The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. followed with P1.95 billion, the National Electrification Administration with P571 million, and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) with P456 million.
Also receiving assistance in August were the Light Rail Transit Authority, National Food Authority, Philippine National Railways, Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Cagayan Special Economic Zone, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, Development Academy of the Philippines, Lung Center of the Philippines, National Dairy Authority, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Coconut Authority, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care, People’s Television Network Inc., Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Southern Philippines Development Authority, and Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority.
Year-to-date, government subsidies plunged by 8.03 percent to P96.79 billion from the year-earlier figure of P105.25 billion.
State-run companies with the biggest funding assistance in the first eight months of the year were PhilHealth with P29.14 billion; NIA with P24.02 billion, and Land Bank of the Philippine with P18.48 billion.
Subsidies fell under the national government’s disbursements program.
State spending in August rose by 8.78 percent to P282.2 billion from P259.5 billion a year ago, boosting the year-to-date tally by a meager 0.94 percent to P2.21 trillion.
In 2018, the government gave away a record P136.652 billion in subsidies.