Hontiveros requests DBP documents on P9.5-B loan for SEA Games facilities
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros has asked the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for several documents related to a P9.5-billion loan it granted to a Malaysian firm for the construction of sports facilities for the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Hontiveros said she sought for six “important” documents because they would be crucial for the Senate investigation she earlier called for into the joint venture agreement (JVA) entered into by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) with Malaysian developer MTD Capital Berhad to construct sports facilities in New Clark City.
She said she sent a letter to the DBP on Tuesday requesting for certain documents that she hopes would be able to detail the loan secured by the Malaysian firm.
These documents include the following:
- Loan or credit agreement;
- Codified approving and signing authority
- Minutes of the relevant board meetings
- Presentation during these meetings related to the project
- Management Memorandum related to the MTD Berhad loan
- Counsel’s opinion or Legal Sufficiency from DBP’s legal counsel
“Kaya umaasa kami na dinggin ng DBP ang aming request letter—in the spirit of transparency—upang hindi na kailanganin pang ipa-subpoena sa kumite,” Hontiveros said, referring to the Senate blue ribbon committee where her call for a probe was referred to.
(We are hoping that the DBP would heed our request letter—in the spirit of transparency—so that the committee would no longer need to subpoena the documents.)
In calling for the probe in a privilege speech at the Senate earlier this month, the senator said there are “signs” that the JVA between BCDA and the Malaysian firm is a “fake joint venture.”
She noted that under the JVA signed in February 2018, MTD was to “advance” the entire project cost of P8.5 billion while BCDA was to provide the land on which the facilities would be built.
But she said MTD “actually advanced nothing.”
She said MTD financed the project through a P9.5-billion loan from the DBP, which she pointed out was approved in March 2018, one month after the JVA was signed in February.
Hontiveros noted that since the BCDA was obliged to reimburse MTD for the capital it supposedly ”advanced,” the BCDA paid the full amount of the loan using a P9.544 billion appropriation in the 2019 national budget.
The lawmaker expressed hopes that the copy of the documents she is asking would shed light on specific personalities involved, as well as the decision-making process that allowed a private company, like MTD Berhad, to secure a loan from the government bank “in record time”.
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