THE Commission on Audit has called the attention of the Duterte administration over its low spending of the Official Development Assistance loans.
In a 2017 audit report, state auditors said of last year’s P74.55-billion loans from ODA, the government was only able to spend P299.75 million.
The government received at least 10 foreign aid loans in 2017.
The CoA, however, said 99.60 percent of the loans were not withdrawn, adding that because of this, there were delays in the target date completion of 17 projects.
“Of the net loan commitments, only P299.75 million were availed leaving undrawn amount of P74.55 billion. This amount represents 99.60 percent of the total net loan commitments for the loans contracted during the year,” the report read.
The CoA said the government foot on the “commitment fees,” or penalties of P230.17 million because of “delayed withdrawal/availment of loans.”
The completion of 17 projects within the loan period is unlikely considering the reported project status. The benefits then to be derived therefrom will be delayed in addition to payments to commitment fees,” it added.
The Department of Transportation experienced delay to finish its seven projects, such as the capacity enhancement of mass transit system in Metro Manila as the recipient of a P20.796-billion loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The CoA also noted four delayed projects of the Department of Agriculture with 74 percent unspent fund of P16.322 million, citing the delayed projects of the departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Health and Social Welfare and Development; National Irrigation Authority, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.