MANILA - Government paid a total of P230.17 million to foreign creditors for commitment fees for the delayed implementation of Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects and programs.
In the 2017 Consolidated Audit Report on ODA programs and projects, the Commission on Audit (COA) said commitment fees charged by foreign institutions reached such figure.
A commitment fee is commonly charged by a lender to a borrower to compensate the lender for its commitment to lend and is paid for unused or undisbursed loans.
It is part of contracts pertaining to ODA, a loan or grant from foreign institutions for the promotion of the country's sustainable social and economic development.
“Commitment fees paid for 35 loan accounts during the year alone for the undrawn balance amounted to P230.17 million or 0.24 percent of the undrawn balances of these accounts amounting to P96.11 billion,” the COA said in the report.
Topping the list of creditors with undrawn balances is the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Japanese government's aid arm which has been among the country's largest ODA providers.
It accounted for nearly half of the undrawn amounts.
“The loans with biggest undrawn balances or unavailed commitments are loans from JICA under bilateral creditors which represent 45.37 percent of the total undrawn balances,” the COA noted.
The COA also noted in the report that the Department of Transportation had the highest undrawn balance among government agencies with no availments from loans intended for the construction or implementation of the North-South Commuter Railway Project, the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project, and the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project II, worth a total cumulative net loan commitment of P116.26 billion.
The total undrawn amount representing 96 loans from 19 creditors is P448.85 billion, out of a current total of 459 ODA loans from 43 creditors.
“This amount alone already represents 25.90 percent of the total undrawn amount,” the COA said.
The COA report also noted that debt service expenditures for 2017 amounted to P66.97 billion inclusive of interest of P16.2 billion, a guaranty fee of P644.21 million, and other charges at P1.41 billion.
The audit report on ODA projects can be found on the COA website.