Press Release
August 2, 2023

Gatchalian: Delay in execution of ODA-financed projects causes additional cost for gov't

Senator Win Gatchalian is taking action to assess the additional costs incurred by the government due to significant delays in various projects financed by official development assistance (ODA) from various multilateral funding agencies.

"The objective here is to determine whether we are using ODAs efficiently or not. It is obvious that we are not, so we also want to determine recommendations to make the implementation of ODAs more efficient," Gatchalian stated during a meeting held by the Congressional Committee on the Official Development Assistance (COCODA). The meeting was presided over by Gatchalian as chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Gatchalian pointed out that based on the National Economic Development Authority's (NEDA's) portfolio review report, the loan disbursement rate of active ODA projects was only 43% in 2022 resulting in a disbursement shortfall of US$2.97 billion against the actual disbursement of US$2.21 billion. Also, the project loan availment rate in 2022 was just 63% out of a total scheduled availment of US$10.83 billion.

The senator emphasized that the government might suffer losses in the form of additional commitment fees, penalties, and additional interest that it must pay to the lending agencies owing to delays in the implementation of such projects.

In addition, volatilities in foreign exchange have also resulted in additional expense for the government owing to delays in the execution of such projects, said Gatchalian, noting that the peso has weakened substantially from an average peso-dollar exchange rate of 49.25 in 2021 to an average of 54.48 in 2022, signifying a 9.6% depreciation of the local currency.

According to a consolidated audit report on ODA-funded programs and projects released by the Commission on Audit (COA), a total of 82 projects have been delayed for various reasons, resulting in unavailed loan commitments. Based on the report, the country incurred a total of P96.83 billion in foreign exchange losses in 2022 alone due to the depreciation of the Philippine peso.

To address the issue, Gatchalian specifically asked NEDA and other agencies to provide reasons for the delay in each of the ODA-financed projects. The next COCODA meeting is slated on September 5.

The country's total outstanding debt stood at P14.15 trillion as of June 2023, with external debt of P4.45 trillion accounting for 31% of the total debt stock.

Gatchalian: Antala sa pagpapatupad ng ODA-financed projects nagdudulot ng karagdagang gastos sa gobyerno

Kumilos si Senador Win Gatchalian upang masuri ang mga karagdagang gastos na natamo ng gobyerno dahil sa malaking pagkaantala ng iba't ibang proyektong tinustusan ng official development assistance (ODA) mula sa iba't ibang multilateral funding agencies.

"Ang nais natin dito ay para malaman kung nagagamit natin ang mga ODA nang mahusay o hindi. Sa nakikita natin ay hindi nagagamit nang husto kaya't gusto nating makakalap ng mga rekomendasyon para maisaayos ang pagsasagawa ng ODA-funded projects," ani Gatchalian sa isang pagdinig na isinagawa ng Congressional Committee on the Official Development Assistance (COCODA). Ang pagdinig ay pinangunahan ni Gatchalian bilang chairperson ng Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Ipinunto ni Gatchalian na batay sa portfolio review report ng National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), ang loan disbursement rate ng mga aktibong ODA projects ay 43% lamang noong 2022 na nagresulta sa disbursement shortfall na US$2.97 bilyon laban sa aktwal na disbursement na US$2.21 bilyon. Ang project loan availment rate noong 2022 ay 63% lamang mula sa kabuuang total scheduled availment na US$10.83 bilyon.

Binigyang-diin ng senador na maaaring gumastos pa ang gobyerno ng karagdagang commitment fees, penalty, at karagdagang interes na dapat bayaran sa mga lending agencies dahil sa pagkaantala ng pagpapatupad ng naturang mga proyekto.

Bukod dito, ang mga pabago-bagong foreign exchange rate ay nagreresulta din sa karagdagang gastos ng gobyerno dahil sa pagkaantala ng pagpapatupad ng mga naturang proyekto, sabi ni Gatchalian. Ang halaga ng piso aniya ay humina nang husto mula sa average na peso-dollar exchange rate na 49.25 noong 2021 sa average na 54.48 noong 2022, o 9.6% na pagbaba ng halaga ng piso.

Ayon sa consolidated audit report hinggil sa mga proyektong pinondohan ng ODA na inilabas ng Commission on Audit (COA), may kabuuang 82 proyekto na na-delay, na nagresulta sa tinatawag na unavailed loan commitments. Batay sa ulat, may kabuuang P96.83 bilyong foreign exchange losses na natamo ang bansa na noong 2022 dahil sa pagbaba ng halaga ng piso.

Upang matugunan ang isyu, partikular na hiniling ni Gatchalian sa NEDA at iba pang ahensya na magbigay ng dahilan sa pagkakaantala ng mga proyektong pinondohan ng ODA. Ang susunod na pagdinig ng COCODA ay nakatakda sa Setyembre 5.

Ang kabuuang utang ng bansa ay umabot sa P14.15 trilyon nitong nakaraang Hunyo, na may panlabas na utang na P4.45 trilyon na kumakatawan sa 31% ng kabuuang stock ng utang.

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