The national government’s subsidies to state-owned companies increased by half in May this year due to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., commonly known as PhilHealth, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.

Financial support extended to government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) jumped by 50 percent in May to P44.7 billion from P29.8 billion in the same month last year, the treasury bureau reported.

The GOCC that received the biggest portion of the subsidy was PhilHealth with P36.5 billion, or 81.8 percent of the total disbursements for the month.

The latest financial aid released to PhilHealth was an additional to the P8.95 billion support in April and P3 billion in February. To date, the state-run firm responsible for the national health insurance program received P45.45 billion in subsidy.

In 2020, the total support given to PhilHealth amounted to P62.4 billion, accounted for more than a quarter of the P230.4 billion government subsidies disbursed in 2020.

Other GOCCs that received financial support from the national government were the National Irrigation Administration with P3.31 billion, National Housing Authority with P1.9 billion and Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) with P1.7 billion.

Large government hospitals were also some of the recipients of subsidy last May. Philippine Heart Center (P147 million), Lung Center of the Philippines (P109 million), National Kidney and Transplant Institute (P107 million) and Philippine Children and Medical Center (P87 million).

However, the national government saw the amount of subsidy extended to government corporations from January to May declining by 7.7 percent to P79.94 billion from P86.65 billion in the same period last year.

PhilHealth emerged as the top recipient of government support in the first five-months of the year, the treasury bureau data revealed.

Meanwhile, the National Irrigation Authority came in second by getting P14.2 billion, while the National Food Authority was at third with P7 billion. The National Housing Authority was at fourth with P5.2 billion.

Also receiving assistance in February were the Light Rail Transit Authority, Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Cultural Center of the Philippines, and Credit Information Corp.,

Moreover, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp., National Dairy Authority, Philippine Coconut Authority, and Philippine Center for Economic Development, also secured subsidies.

Source: Manila Bulletin (