Most of SEAG funds loaned out from Malaysian firm—Drilon | Inquirer News
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Most of SEAG funds loaned out from Malaysian firm—Drilon

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday said that P11 billion of the P16-billion funds for the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) was a  loan from a Malaysian firm.

In a TV interview, the senator said the Malaysian firm MTD Capital Berhad had financed the construction of facilities for the event with an P11-billion loan payable in five years’ time at P2.2 billion a year.

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Drilon had earlier questioned officials behind the organization of the SEA Games, and described as “unnecessary” and “extravagant” the P50-million cauldron built for the torch-lighting ceremony.

Sources said that some P10.5 billion was spent for sports facilities in New Clark City, one of the venues for the games, and the refurbishment of other facilities.

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Another P5 billion was allocated for the actual staging of the games.

Countering Drilon’s criticisms on the P50-million cauldron, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon said athletes deserve support and that the cauldron was put up to inspire them.

“Inspiration is priceless, you cannot put a price tag (on it),” Dizon told reporters.

The state-run BCDA led the construction of the 20,000-seater athletic stadium, 2,000-seater aquatic center and the athletes’ village located within the 250-hectare national government administrative center at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who also chairs the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Committee  Foundation Inc., expressed disappointment over former President Benigno Aquino III’s description of the cauldron as “expensive.”

While critics lamented that P50 million would have funded the construction of 50 classrooms, Cayetano said 10,000 classrooms would have been built if the previous administration did not spend P10 billion during the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) in 2015.

According to Cayetano, Aquino had asked him not to make a fuss over the Apec fund because it was a “representation of the whole nation.”

“What did he tell me? ‘Do not make any noise before and during (the Apec meeting) because all countries, including the international press, are here,’” Cayetano quoted the former president as supposedly saying.

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TAGS: Cayetano, Drilon, Loan, News, News update, SEA games
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