Gov't disbursement of ODA loans drops in 2008

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2009 06:21 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2009 02:21 AM

Philippine disbursement of loans from multilateral lenders and foreign agencies plunged 60 percent to $781 million in 2008 from $1.949 million in 2007, according to the peliminary report on the 2008 official development assistance loan portfolio released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

NEDA's Project Monitoring Staff director Roderick Planta blamed the decline in total disbursement on the non-release of four program loans and 22 project loans funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), World Bank and other foreign lenders.

As a result, the disbursement ratio, or the ratio of actual disbursements to the net loan amount available during the year, fell to 22 percent in 2008 from 39 percent in 2007.

Total official development assistance (ODA) commitments amounted to $9.7 billion, of which $7.9 billion were for projects and $1.8 billion for programs.

There were 115 program and project loans last year and 21 of these had disbursement rates of below 50 percent because of several issues related to procurement, financial concerns and other factors.

Of the 115 loans, 80 worth $6.3 billion were ongoing, 25 were closed, one was cancelled/terminated, six were newly signed and two became effective last year.

Of the total active loans, JICA accounted for $4.173 billion (43%); World Bank, $1.514 billion (16%); Asian Development Bank, $1.502 billion (16%); China, $1.1 billion or (11%); and others, $1.384 billion (14%).

Other lenders include Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Kuwait, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Finland, France, Nordic Development Fund, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Netherlands, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Planta said no disbursement was reported among six newly signed loans worth $815.8 million because most of them were signed only in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Two newly effective projects, worth $232 million, also had zero disbursement during the year while the NorthRail Project Phase 1, Section 2, which was signed in January 2007, has yet to be become effective.

Aside from the new loans, six other projects had zero disbursement last year, including the $20 million loan from Saudi Arabai for the Mindanao Roads Improvement Project, $9.9 million from JICA for the Subic Bay Freeport Environmental Management Project 2, and $10 million from Sweden for the Credit Facility for the Environmental Management Project.

Other project loans with zero disbursement were $51.88 million from JICA for the terminated Northern Luzon Wind Power Project, $168.4 million from the United Kingdom for the Tulay ng Pangulo sa Kaunlaran, and $188.68 million also from the UK for the Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Magsasaka.