Gov't may increase subsidy budget: Abad

Posted at 06/11/2012 1:54 PM | Updated as of 06/11/2012 4:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines -  The government may increase programmed subsidies to government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) this year by P13.6 billion, according to data from the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the government may allocate an additional P12 billion for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The government is also looking at infusing P1.6 billion into some state hospitals, Philippine Coconut Authority and Local Water and Utilities Administration.

If approved by the DBCC, the government's ceiling for subsidies to state-owned companies will jump by 75% to P31.77 billion from the original target of P18.17 billion. Last year, the government spent P53.705 billion in subsidies.

Based on data from the Bureau of Treasury, the government's subsidies for GOCCs doubled in April  due to higher subsidies for the  National Food Authority (NFA). Subsidies reached P2.803 billion in April, from P1.11 billion in the same month last year.

The government gave P2 billion in subsidies to the NFA to fulfill its mandate of selling rice at affordable prices.