BCDA says billions spent for 2019 SEA Games facilities above board as Hontiveros seeks probe

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 10 2020 08:14 PM | Updated as of Nov 11 2020 10:40 AM

BCDA says billions spent for 2019 SEA Games facilities above board as Hontiveros seeks probe 1
People inspect and take photos of the swimming pool at the New Clark City Aquatics Center in Capas town, Tarlac during a site visit on Oct. 16, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Tuesday said there are no anomalies in the construction of sports facilities for the country's hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games since the project was done legally and had government approval. 

This, after Sen. Risa Hontiveros sought a Senate investigation into the P9.5-billion loan used for the construction of the sports facilities. 

In a statement, the BCDA said the “world-class” New Clark City sports facilities in Tarlac built for the SEA Games was based on the advice of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and was issued a favorable opinion by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) in October 2018. 

“The ADB advised that a joint venture agreement for the said construction is the most advantageous arrangement for the government. This recommendation was also approved and confirmed by the OGCC,” it said. 

Hontiveros’ probe call came after the Commission on Audit’s (COA) 2019 report flagged BCDA's deal with Malaysian developer MTD Capital Berhad, which pointed out that the joint venture agreement may have been "disadvantageous to the public."

But BCDA said there was no undue advantage given to MTD Capital Berhad because the unsolicited proposal went through a “rigorous negotiation process and a competitive challenge.” 

“The joint venture agreement between BCDA and MTD passed the scrutiny of applicable Philippine laws, rules and regulations,” the statement read. 

“Its world-class quality brought great pride and honor not only to our national athletes but to the entire Filipino community who witnessed the historic hosting of the 30th SEA Games,” it added. 

The BCDA earlier said in the COA report that MTD only had advantage in terms of time and preparation, which is usual in cases of unsolicited proposals.

“As a government institution, the BCDA is committed to be at the forefront of delivering sustainable and inclusive projects that our countrymen can truly be proud of.”

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