MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Finance has renewed calls to simplify the processing of overseas development assistance (ODA) to hasten the implementation of covered projects.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima again brought this up as officials and decision makers gathered last week at the Philippine Development Forum held in Davao City.
Purisima said the board of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) had approved 60 projects worth some P568 billion since President Aquino assumed office.
He said that of these projects, half were under implementation, 23 were in the process of bidding and waiting for government clearances while the rest were under appraisal.
According to Neda, total net ODA commitment as of the third quarter of 2012 amounted to $8.83 billion.
“ODA from our development partners has been a major source of help for our country not just in terms of loans but in terms of grants and technical assistance,” Purisima said.
“We need to work and see how we can rationalize the process and fast-track the implementation of all ODA projects,” he added.
The DOF proposes that implementing agencies submit their projects to the Neda-Investment Coordinating Council without any financing commitments, and Neda-ICC will evaluate the project based on its economic benefits.
Then, if a project is deemed beneficial, the financing decision on whether to fund the project through locally sourced revenues or through ODA will be left with the DOF in coordination with the inter-agency Development Budget Coordinating Committee.