DUE to delayed and canceled projects in 2017, the Philippine government is forced to pay P230.17 million in penalties to foreign lenders.
This was disclosed by the Commission on Audit (CoA) in its Consolidated Audit Report on Official Development Assistance (ODA) programs and Projects for 2017.
According to CoA, the government only availed of P299.75 million of the P74.85 billion net commitment it contracted in 2017 under the 10 ODA loans.
Of the 409 programs and projects financed out of these loans 336 were completed, 63 are ongoing, eight are yet to be started and 212 were cancelled
Among the delayed projects are those supposedly implemented by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Transportation like Puerto Princesa Airport Development Project (PPADP); New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project (NBAC-SEPP); New Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems Development Project; Capacity Enhancement of Mass Transit Systems in Metro Manila Project (CEMTSMMP); Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) Phases I and II; Cebu Bus Rapid Transit System, and Philippine Coast Guard Capability Development Project (PCGCDP).
Meanwhile, the extension of the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2 to Cavite and Rizal under CEMTSMMP was delayed by “slow procurement process.”
The CA explained that the low or non-implementation of projects, which were guaranteed funding from foreign lending agencies, have resulted in the ballooning of the yearly budget for debt service payments of the government.
For 2017 alone, total debt service payment amounted to P66.97 billion, higher by P5.85 billion or 9.57 percent compared to the debt service expenditures of 2017.