Gov’t subsidy to GOCCs down in H1

Published August 7, 2022, 7:00 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The amount of subsidy the Duterte administration extended to government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) was slashed by half in the first semester, but bulk of it went to National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed that financial support extended to government-owned corporations dropped 50 percent to P44.69 billion in January to June this year from P88.28 billion in the same period in 2021.

The GOCC that received a huge portion of the subsidy was NIA, getting P18.34 billion.

Other major recipients of subsidy were the National Housing Authority, National Food Authority, and Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, at P8.94 billion, P3.24 billion and P1.69 billion, respectively.

Moreover, the Philippine Children and Medical Center received P986 million subsidy along with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines with P971 million, Small Business Corp. with P967 million, and Philippine Heart Center with P882 million.

Meanwhile, government subsidy to state corporations reached P12.33 billion in June, up 47 percent from P8.34 billion in the same month last year.

The smaller subsidy to GOCCs in the first semester comes as the former Duterte administration’s budget shortfall dropped.

Former President Duterte closed his books with a P674.2 billion fiscal deficit from January to June 2022, below the P828.7 billion ceiling set by the government.

Likewise, the six-month budget gap was lower by six percent compared with the P716.1 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Based on the Treasury data, improved fiscal performance is attributable to above target revenue haul of the Bureau of Customs at P396.7 billion. This amount was 10 percent higher against the P360.7 billion goal and 31 percent more than last year’s P301.7 billion.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno had said that Customs exceeded its collection target in the half of the year due to pricey oil imports.

Customs better collection performance compensated for the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) behind target collections.

The BIR, which contributes about two-thirds to government coffers, raised P1.132 trillion at end-June, three percent lower against the P1.165 trillion target. However, this was 10 percent better than P1.032 trillion in the same period in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Duterte administration’s public spending fell below the P2.477 trillion target in the first semester by three percent to P2.402 trillion.

Based on the Treasury report, the lower than programmed expenditures was due to weaker operating expenses at P2.144 trillion versus the 2.224 trillion goal. Year-on-year, it grew nine percent form P2.206 trillion.