1H subsidies surge 535% to P169B


    The government’s subsidies to government-owned and -controlled corporations in the first half of 2020 significantly rose from its year ago level, mainly due to the support released for measures intended to address the coronavirus pandemic.

    Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury showed that subsidies from January to June totaled to P169.53 billion, 535 percent higher than the P26.7 billion released in the same period last year.

    The lion’s share of the subsidies released to state-run firms, amounting to P51 billion, went to the Social Security System, which is one of those in charge of the small business wage subsidy (SBWS) program.

    The SBWS program provided wage subsidies amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 for affected employees and owners of small businesses to help mitigate their loss of income and prevent closures due to the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine in March this year.

    Also among the biggest recipients are the National Food Authority (NFA) with P37.65 billion, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) with P26.17 billion, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) with P17.83 billion and the Light Rail Transit Authority with P11.15 billion.

    In June alone, subsidies amounted to P69.16 billion, 882.4 percent up from the P7.04 billion posted in the same time in 2019.

    The NFA was the top recipient for the month with P31.25 billion, followed by PhilHealth (P26.17 billion), National Housing Authority (P7.46 billion), NIA (P2.45 billion) and the Small Business Corp. (P500 million).