Subsidies jump 188%

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    Subsidies to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) as of end-July rose from its year ago level, amid earlier state support for the coronavirus pandemic response.

    Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury showed that subsidies from January to July totaled to P187.47 billion, 188.47 percent higher than the P64.99 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 with P37.65 billion, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) with P30.3 billion, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) with P19.74 billion, and the National Housing Authority (NHA) with P17.74 billion.

    In July alone, subsidies amounted to P17.94 billion, 53.16 percent down from the P38.29 billion posted in the same time in 2019.

    NHA was the top recipient for the month with P9.89 billion.

    Other billionaire recipients include PhilHealth with P4.13 billion and NIA with P1.91 billion.