THE National Government’s subsidies to state corporations rose to P201.524 billion in 2019, exceeding the P187.1 billion budgeted for the year after some offices exceeded their initially-estimated supplemental funding requirements, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

According to BTr’s cash operations report said the growth rate in 2019 subsidies to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCC) was 47.47%.

In December, subsidies amounted to P25.402 billion, far exceeding the year-earlier total of P2.18 billion.

Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) received the largest subsidy of P72.702 billion, exceeding the original P67.35 billion budgeted. PhilHealth accounted for 36.08% of all subsidies and its 2019 total rose 37.3% .

This was followed by P36.64 billion allocated to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), up 28.92% from a year earlier and exceeding the P36.05-billion initially planned. Subsidies of P30.49 billion went to Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), up 19% from a year earlier but less than its subsidy budget of P36.49 billion.

The National Housing Authority (NHA) received P13.85 billion and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) P10.8 billion, up from P353 million and P75 million respectively received in 2018. Subsidies to NHA exceeded the budgeted P765.2 million while BCDA’s were below the P15.18 billion planned.

Other GOCCs that received subsidies in 2019 were the National Food Authority (P7 billion), Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (P2.28 billion), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (P2.2 billion) and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (P1.57 billion).

Also receiving subsidies were the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (P19 million), the Philippine Center for Economic Development (P24 million), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (P24 million), the Philippine Tax Academy (P36 million), the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (P48 million) and the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (P48 million).

The government grants subsidies to state corporations to cover their operational expenses that are not supported by their own revenue.

In 2020, the government is projecting GOCC subsidies at P195.985 billion. — Beatrice M. Laforga