ODA loan use better in first half

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Cabinet members and other government officials discuss the various projects in the pipeline, including the country's first subway that will run in Metro Manila, under the “Build! Build! Build!” program during the DuterteNomics Forum at Conrad Manila in Pasay City on April 18, 2017. — PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS

THE GOVERNMENT improved its use of official development assistance (ODA) loans last semester from a year ago, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), reflecting the current administration’s push to boost infrastructure development in its six-year term in a bid to prod overall economic growth faster.

NEDA said in a statement yesterday that ODA loan disbursement rate improved to 86.68% last semester from 71.38% in 2016’s first half, even though total amount fell 6.7% to $802.95 million from $861.04 million in the same comparable six months.

NEDA noted further that loans from Japan, administered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), accounted for the biggest share of 44.83% — at $4.84 billion — of some $10.797-billion total ODA loans in those six months.

“Japan has been our long-time development partner and we have established a strong relationship with them [sic]. They have one of the best loan terms,” the statement quoted NEDA Undersecretary for Investment Programming Rolando G. Tungpalan as saying, noting that JICA loans have a payment period of 40 years with annual interest rates of 0.1% for civil works and 0.01% for consulting services.

JICA-funded projects include the ₱355.588-billion first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project, P211.43-billion Philippine National Railways North 2 (Malolos-Clark Airport-Clark Green City Railway), P9.89-billion Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project and P5.4-billion Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Phase II.


The World Bank came second with $2.948 billion, accounting for 27.31%, while the Asian Development Bank ranked third with $2.174 billion or 20.14%.

Last semester’s ODA loans consisted of 54 project loans worth some $8.197 billion and $2.6-billion seven program loans.