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GOCC subsidies up 32% in May

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SUBSIDIES PROVIDED to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) jumped by 32% year on year in May, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

Data from the BTr showed that budgetary support to GOCCs rose to P9.74 billion in May from P7.38 billion in the same month last year.

Month on month, subsidies fell by 64.86% from P27.72 billion released in April.

The National Government (NG) provides subsidies to GOCCs to help fund operational expenses covered by revenues.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) received the biggest amount of subsidies with P7.27 billion, which made up nearly three-fourths or 74% of all subsidies in May.

This was followed by the Philippine Rice Research Institute which received its highest subsidy for the year so far at P629 million.

The Philippine Fisheries Development Authority was granted P359 million in subsidies in May. It did not receive any subsidies in the previous month.

GOCCs that also received significant subsidies include the Philippine Children’s Medical Center with P207 million, Philippine Heart Center with P168 million, National Kidney and Transplant Institute with P133 million, National Privacy Commission with P109 million, and the Small Business Corp. with P100 million.

Other GOCCs that secured subsidies above P50 million include the Philippine Coconut Authority (P88 million), Development Academy of the Philippines (P82 million), Cultural Center of the Philippines (P73 million), Light Rail Transit Authority (P72 million), Lung Center of the Philippines (P70 million), National Dairy Authority (P62 million), and the People’s Television Network, Inc. (P60 million).

In May, no subsidies were given to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., Social Housing Finance Corp., Local Water Utilities Administration, National Electrification Administration, National Food Authority, National Housing Authority (NHA), Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Philippine Postal Corp., the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

The lower GOCC subsidies for the month “may be explained by the effects of the fiscal consolidation being done by the government aimed to address budget deficit and settle external debt,” Oikonomia Advisory & Research, Inc., President and Chief Economist John Paolo R. Rivera said in a Viber message.

The NG’s budget deficit ballooned by 43.1% to P174.9 billion in May from P122.2 billion in the same month a year ago.

Outstanding debt reached a record-high P15.35 trillion in the same month, BTr reported earlier. 

In the first five months of the year, GOCC subsidies rose by 51% to P57.05 billion from P37.64 billion in the same period last year.

NIA was the top recipient in the January-to-May period with P29.01 billion in subsidies. This was followed by PSALM (P8 billion) and the NHA (P3.75 billion). — B.M.D.Cruz

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