July subsidies up 18%

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    The national government’s subsidies in July posted double-digit growth compared with a year ago mostly due to the release of cash grants for cash transfer beneficiaries.

    Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed subsidy releases to state-run and -controlled firms amounted to P38.29 billion in July, 17.92 percent higher from the P32.47 billion recorded in the same period last year.

    The biggest amount went to the Land Bank of the Philippines at P18.49 billion.

    “It is not for Land Bank operations but cash transfer program,” Rosalia de Leon, national treasurer, said.

    According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the amount represents the payout of cash grants for the period January to June 2019 to the unconditional cash transfer (UCT) beneficiaries.

    The release was made to the Lank Bank as a conduit of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the implementation of the UCT Program.

    Other top recipients are the National Housing Authority (NHA) with P8.28 billion, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) with P7.57 billion, National Electrification Administration with P1.1 billion and the National Power Corp. with P810 million.

    “Other expenditures that also contributed to higher actual subsidy for the month include payment of prior years’ accounts payable of the NIA for its completed irrigation projects, and the NHA for its resettlement programs for informal settler families affected by the Supreme Court’s Mandamus to clean up the Manila Bay Area, and the rehabilitation of the Most Affected Area in Marawi, particularly for debris management and clearing of unexploded ordnances,” the DBM said.

    As of end-July, subsidies stood at P64.99 billion, 35.15 percent lower versus the P100.21 billion posted in the first seven months of 2018.

    The top recipient for the period is NIA with P23.57 billion, followed by Land Bank with P18.49 billion, NHA with P8.28 billion, National Food Authority with P3.43 billion and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. with P1.45 billion.