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BCDA denies taking out loan to fund SEA Games facilities

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 11/22/2019
a person on a court: The new oval running tracks of the Athletics Stadium in New Clark City is seen over the weekend. As the country prepares to host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, all eyes are on its prized stadium, the first and only athletics facility in the Philippines to hold a Class 1 certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations. GMA News © GMA News The new oval running tracks of the Athletics Stadium in New Clark City is seen over the weekend. As the country prepares to host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, all eyes are on its prized stadium, the first and only athletics facility in the Philippines to hold a Class 1 certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations. GMA News

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Friday disputed claims that they took out a loan from a Malaysin lender to fund the construction of sports facilities for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

"The P9.5-billion budget for these facilities was funded through the General Appropriations Act approved and passed by Congress," the BCDA said in a statement.

The BCDA’s project partner, development firm AlloyMTD, undertook the construction and the development of New Clark City Phase 1A, which includes the sports facilities, through its own sources of financing.

Opposition Senator Franklin Drilon claimed that the government had borrowed from a Malaysian firm to finance the construction of the SEA Games facilities.

The loan was payable in five years at P2.2 billion per year, or P11 billion in total.

SEA games chief organizer Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has said that the funds used for the staging of the 30th Southeast Asian Games had been used efficiently, thus it did not matter if the funding came from a loan.

However, the BCDA insisted that the payment option that it undertook was not for a loan, but for the expenses of the tapped developer AlloyMTD.

"One of the payment options in the joint venture terms is to pay AlloyMTD P2.2 billion per year; but to avoid paying more interest charges, the government opted to pay in full upon completion and acceptance of the sports facilities as approved and reflected in the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA)," the BCDA explained.

"The developer has undertaken the project of building New Clark City Phase 1A through its own sources of financing," added the Bases Authority, and the government had thus not paid AlloyMTD a single centavo to date.

Drilon has been critical of the expenses incurred in the construction of the facilities to be used for the Games. — John Ted Cordero/DVM, GMA News

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