MANILA, Philippines - Subsidies given to state-owned firms and agencies doubled in May from last year as a result of government disbursements to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Data from the Bureau of Treasury showed that the government gave out a total of P5.49 billion for the month, the bulk of which was given to PhilHealth, which received P5 billion for May alone.
Under the law, PhilHealth is required to maintain an insurance reserve of at least P60 billion or equivalent to two months’ reserve. As of end-November, the state-owned health insurer already has over P100-billion reserves.
May’s disbursement figure was almost double last year’s disbursement of P2.84 billion.
Meanwhile, the National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC) came in as the second-biggest recipient after it got P205 million for the month, while at end-May last year NLDC got P1.08 billion in subsidy.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem) were given P113 million and P46 million, respectively. For the year, PCA and Citem received P158 million and P53 million in subsidies each.
State hospitals, such as the Philippine Children Medical Center (PCMC) and Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) received P40 million and P34 million, respectively For the first five months of the year, PCMC and LCP’s total monetary support stood at P134 million and P60 million each.
Last month President Aquino signed the Government-Owned and –Controlled Corporations (GOCC) Governance Act of 2011, or “An act to promote financial viability and fiscal discipline in GOCCs and to strengthen the role of the state in its governance and management to make them more responsive to the needs of public interest,” which essentially standardized the salaries and bonuses of its executives.
For the first five months of the year, the Aquino administration gave out P12.67 billion in subsidies, or 74% higher than the P7.28 billion released during the same period last year.