SUBSIDIES provided to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) rose 21.87% in August, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

Budgetary support to GOCCs jumped to P18.933 billion in August from P15.536 a year ago earlier.

Month on month, subsidies declined 43% from the P33.238 billion in July.

The government provides subsidies to GOCCs to help cover operational expenses not supported by revenue.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) was the top recipient in August, with P12.931 billion or 68.3% of subsidies during the month.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) received P3.047 billion, while the National Housing Authority (NHA) got P992 million.

Other top recipients were the National Food Authority (P221 million), the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (P220 million), the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (P196 million), the Philippine Heart Center (P178 million), the Philippine Coconut Authority (P125 million), the National Kidney and Transplant Institute and the National Dairy Authority (P116 million each), and the Small Business Corp. (P100 million.)

GOCCs that received at least P50 million in August were the Philippine National Railways (P92 million), the Lung Center of the Philippines (P74 million), Development Academy of the Philippines (P71 million), and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (P50 million).

Meanwhile, the National Electrification Administration, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., the Philippine Postal Corp., the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., and the Social Housing Finance Corp. received subsidies during the month.

In the eight months to August, subsidies amounted to P115.867 billion, up 17.5% from a year earlier.

PhilHealth took in P50.614 billion or almost half (43.68%) of the subsidies in the January-August period, followed by the NIA (P28.842 billion) and the NHA (P5.518 billion). 

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said that the higher subsidies in August were likely due to higher inflation, which drove up expenditures.

“Faster pace of government spending to make up for underspending earlier this year could have also increased GOCC expenditures as well,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson