Poe backs Duterte’s order to review gov’t contracts
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to review all government contracts entered into by the country.
The President ordered all legal departments to review all government contracts after discovering an “onerous” contract with Maynilad during Monday’s Cabinet meeting.
Poe said the review must not only check if contracts are ‘onerous and one-sided,’ but it must establish the necessity of the project to be funded.
“Made in China contracts should be vetted for onerous and one-sided provisions,” she said in a statement.
“But more important than discovering what lurks in the fine print of these contracts is the more important question: Is the project to be funded really needed by our people? Or is it a donor-driven commercial enterprise pushed by influential brokers that are however not a priority need by the very people who will end up paying for them,” she added.
While recognizing the need for foreign participation in the projects, Poe argued that all loan deals must remain within the limits of the law and that the government must always seek the best option.
“Loans must be legally compliant and must meet the good governance test. Above all, it must bear repayment terms that is the best we can get,” Poe said.
The Senator called for the release of the terms of the loan agreements “including annexes and minutes of the meeting of the reviewing and approving bodies.”
“This nation can’t survive if it’s saddled with loans that mortgage the future of our children and offers part of national patrimony as collateral,” Poe said. /ee
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