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Risa asks DBP: Release SEAG venue papers

Hontiveros has called a probe on the Joint Venture Agreement between the MTD Berhad and the Bases Conversion Development Authority for the construction of the facilities at New Clark City

Hananeel Bordey

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Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday asked the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to provide the Senate with the documents on the P9.5-billion loan availed by the Malaysian firm MTD Berhad for the construction of the sports facilities used for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

Failure by the DBP to respond would merit a subpoena for these papers, Hontiveros averred.

Hontiveros disclosed that she had sent a request for copies of the loan or credit agreement, codified approving and signing authority, minutes of relevant board meetings, presentations during the meeting, management memorandum on the MTD Berhad loan, and the counsel’s opinion or the legal counsel’s approval on the loan from the DBP.

Hontiveros has called a probe on the Joint Venture Agreement between the MTD Berhad and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for the construction of the facilities at New Clark City.

The lawmaker cited the sudden alteration in MTD Berhad’s proposal to construct the administrative center in Clark after the BCDA pushed for the inclusion of sports facilities in the contract.

She mentioned Contract Review 68 from the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, headed by former chief Rudolf Jurado, which required public bidding for these sports facilities.

“(Jurado) did not give a go signal. He placed a condition for this. There should have been a public bidding,” Hontiveros said.

The BCDA then made the project as a joint venture to skip the public bidding requirement.

“The BCDA then made it appear that MTD Berhad contributed P8.5 billion. But it was an amount loaned from the DBP. The BCDA was then compelled to reimburse MTC Berhad of the capital it supposedly gave but which was actually loaned from the DBP,” she shared.

Hontiveros reiterated that this deal was likewise flagged by the Commission on Audit.

“That’s why (Jurado) did not give a Counsel’s Opinion which should have said that it was legal, valid, enforceable and a Joint Venture Agreement,” she reiterated.

A Counsel’s Opinion is one of the requirements asked by in CoA Joint Venture Guidelines, and even by the joint venture guidelines of the BCDA.

“The BCDA then removed this requirement from the OGCC to make it look like it was done above-board,” she shared.

Apart from that Hontiveros said the BCDA also conducted a Swiss Challenge to set the project cost at P8.5 billion.

But in the deal signed by BCDA and BTD Berhad, they agreed to an additional P2.4 billion, aside from giving the contractor a 25-year profit-sharing bonus.

This, Hontiveros said, is against the Supreme Court ruling which provided that the Approved Budget for the Contract or ABC which has undergone public bidding or Swiss challenge should not be revised during the signing of the contract.

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