SUBSIDIES extended to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) surged to P39.981 billion in October, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

Budgetary support to GOCCs surged 668% year on year to P39.981 billion from P5.206 billion in the same month in 2021. This was also 69% higher than the P23.652 billion in subsidies provided to GOCCs in September.

In the 10-month period, subsidies stood at P154.235 billion, up 2.09% from the P151.081 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Subsidies are extended to GOCCs to cover operational expenses not supported by their revenue.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) was the top recipient, accounting for nearly half or P19.164 billion of the subsidies in October.

This was followed by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), which received P6.949 billion.

The National Housing Authority (NHA) was provided P4.717 billion in subsidies in October. It did not receive any subsidies the previous month.

Other top recipients in October were the National Privacy Commission (P4.026 billion), the National Food Authority (P1.968 billion), the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (P888 million), SB Corp. (P594 million), the Light Rail Transit Authority (P326 million), the Social Security System (P294 million), the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (P182 million), the Philippine Heart Center (P147 million), and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (P107 million).

Other GOCCs that were given at least P50 million were the Philippine National Railways (P61 million), the Lung Center of the Philippines (P58 million), and the Local Water Utilities Administration (P55 million).

The National Electrification Administration was the only major nonfinancial GOCC that did not receive subsidies.

Other government corporations that received no subsidies during the month were the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Duty Free Phils. Corp., the National Tobacco Administration, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., the Social Housing Finance Corp., and the Sugar Regulatory Administration.

In the first 10 months, PhilHealth received the biggest amount of subsidies at P64.088 billion, followed by NIA at P36.365 billion and the NHA at P13.658 billion. 

In 2021, government subsidies to GOCCs amounted to P184.77 billion, a 19.3% decline from the previous year. Last year, PhilHealth received P80.98 billion or nearly 44% of the total. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson