PhilHealth gets P45-B gov’t subsidy

Published August 2, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

State-owned Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has cornered a huge portion of the government subsidy in the first six-months of the year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the country.

Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed that financial support extended to PhilHealth reached P45.45 billion in January to June this year, more than half of the government’s P88.28 billion subsidy releases.

Moreover, the total aid given to PhilHealth as of June increased by 67 percent compared with P27.17 billion in the same period last year. It is also equivalent to 72.8 percent of the P62.4 billion assistance from the national government in 2020.

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) (MANILA BULLETIN)

Based on the Treasury report, the disbursements of subsidy were made in two tranches. The first assistance was released in April amounting P8.95 billion, while the second withdrawal was in May costing P36.5 billion.

Other large government run hospitals also received substantial support from the national government in January to June.

The treasury data showed that the Philippine Heart Center got P902 million in subsidy, while the Philippine Children’s Medical Center received P687 million.

In additional, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute was given P641 million in financial support and the Lung Center of the Philippines withdrew P303 million from state coffers.

Subsidies to the agency responsible for administering the government’s health insurance program, and state-run hospitals were intended to boost the their operations and the country’s war chest in the fight against pandemic.

At end-June, the treasury bureau has released P88.28 billion in subsidies to several government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs). The amount, however, is 31 percent lower compared with P128.7 billion a year earlier.

The second largest recipient of government subsidy was the National Irrigation Administration with P16.8 billion, while then National Housing Authority took third place with P7.3 billion and the National Food Authority came in at a close fourth with P7 billion.

Other GOCCs that received substantial financial support from the national government were Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. with P1.75 billion and Bases Conversion and Development Authority with P1.28 billion.

The Treasury data revealed that about four percent of the national government’s expenditures in the first half of the year went to GOCCs.

In June alone, subsidies to state-owned companies reached P8.34 billion, significantly lower compared with P42 billion in the same month last year.