Gov’t corporations subsidies P6.3 billion in Oct., down 13%

NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION

BUDGET SUPPORT for state-run companies fell 13% year on year in October, with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) receiving the largest subsidy, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

The BTr reported that the government issued P6.3 billion in subsidies to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCC). The tally was also 12% smaller than P7.153 billion given in September.

The NIA received P4.266 billion worth of subsidies that month, up 783% year on year, and accounting for 68% of the month’s total. Its subsidies were also 63% higher than P2.62 billion it received the previous month.

The National Electrification Administration received P885 million, up 712% from a year earlier. This was followed by the National Housing Authority with P252 million. It received no subsidies a year earlier.

The Philippine Postal Corp. received P125 million while the Philippine Heart Center got P118 million.

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Other state-owned firms that received financial support from the government that month were the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority; the Cultural Center of the Philippines; the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority; the Credit Information Corp.; the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions; the Lung Center of the Philippines; the Local Water Utilities Administration; the National Dairy Authority; the National Kidney Transplant Institute; the Philippine Coconut Authority; the Philippine Center for Economic Development; the Philippine Children’s Medical Center; the Philippine Rice Research Institute; the Philippine Institute for Development Studies; the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care; the People’s Television Network, Inc.; the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; the Southern Philippines Development Authority; the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority; and the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority.

In the 10 months to October, subsidies to GOCCs rose 25% year on year to P205.92 billion.

The 10-month total exceeded the reduced P191-billion budget for GOCC subsidies this year by 8%. The government earlier cut the budget assistance to state-run firms after funds were realigned to support the pandemic containment effort.

The Social Security System received the largest subsidy during the period worth P51 billion, after it acted as the implementing agency in the government’s wage subsidy program for companies.

The government subsidizes state-run firms to cover operational expenses not supported by their revenue. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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