MANILA, Philippines – Subsidies given by the government to state-owned and controlled corporations went down by 21.5 percent to P 42.15 billion last year from P53.7 billion in 2011, data from the Bureau of Treasury showed.
The amount, however, was 32.7 percent higher than the government’s 2012 target of only P31.76 billion.
Cumulative subsidies declined even as the government increased its spending by 14 percent to P1.78 trillion last year.
In December alone, subsidies for state institutions reached P15.96 billion, 87.76 percent higher than the previous year’s P8.5 billion.
Among top five recipients of subsidies in 2012 were the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (P14.07 billion), National Food Authority (P7.66 billion), National Electrification Administration (P4.95 billion), National Irrigation Administration (P2.81 billion), and the National Housing Authority (P2.4 billion).
PhilHealth was created on Feb. 17, 1995 to provide universal health coverage and ensure a sustainable national health insurance program for Filipinos. Local and national government allocate funds to subsidize the membership of indigents. Among PhilHealth’s members include workers employed by companies and institutions, indigents with no means of support; retirees (non-paying members) who are 60 or older, and individuals under the overseas workers and similar programs.
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The NFA is an agency of the government under the Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring the food security of the Philippines and the stability of supply and price of rice. The government subsidizes rice imports through exemption from duties and taxes.
The NEA, on the other hand, is tasked with providing electricity to rural communities.
The NIA is primarily responsible for irrigation development while the NHA is tasked to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated housing pogrom.
Other agencies that received the biggest subsidies were the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (P1.83 billion), Government Service Insurance System (P1.5 billion), and Philippine Coconut Authority (P1.18 billion).