SUBSIDIES GRANTED to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) fell 27.7% from a year earlier in February to P7.581 billion, the Bureau of the Treasury reported.

The National Irrigation Administration received 65.9% of the total with P4.994 billion, down 15% from a year earlier.

The Bases Conversion Development Authority received P720 million, the Small Business Corp. P300 million and the Philippine Heart Center P296 million.

Other top recipients were the National Kidney Transplant Institute (P213 million), Philippine Children’s Medical Center (P209 million), Light Rail Transit Administration (P170 million), and Philippine Rice Research Institute (P155 million).

Towards the bottom of the subsidy list were the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (P2 million), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (P3 million), the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (P8 million each), and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (P9 million).

The government subsidizes GOCCs firms to cover operational expenses not supported by their revenue.

It budgeted P148.188 billion for GOCC subsidies this year, down 22%. — Beatrice M. Laforga