MANILA, Philippines — The joint venture agreement between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and MTD Capital Berhard for the development of New Clark City Phase 1A, which includes facilities being used in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, was implemented with the “the most transparent” and “aboveboard” possible.
The BCDA made this point in a statement issued on Monday, Dec. 2.
According to the statement, Vince Dizon, BCDA president and chief executive officer, held a press conference on Monday with lawyer Elpidio J. Vega, government corporate counsel, to address the issue, refuting reports that the deal did not go through a public bidding and that it was meant to “defraud the government.”
In that conference, Dizon emphasized that the agreement with the developer went through all legal requisites and processes and that it was “very advantageous” to the government.
“The OGCC the never gave an unfavorable opinion,” Dizon said, referring to the contract review done by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.
“The OGCC gave its comments and suggestions to which BCDA addressed and clarified. The OGCC, in response to clarification made by BCDA, unequivocally said that the ‘provisions of the executed JVA and the legal framework of the project are in compliance with the existing laws, rule and regulations,’” Dizon said, citing the latest OGCC opinion, dated Oct. 2, 2018.
Vega validated this in Monday’s press conference, saying: “The contract review which was issued way back in January was indeed not a negative opinion or contract review but, in fact, it approved and gave the go-signal to BCDA.’
He added: “I hereby confirm that the same is really aboveboard and we found no legal impediment to its execution.
According to its statement, BCDA was advised by the Asian Development Bank, from start to finish, on all aspects of the project — financial, technical, and legal.
“This included the mode of building the sports facilities that went through public procurement through a competitive Swiss challenge,” Dizon said.
On the allegation that the deal was designed to “defraud the government,” Dizon said: “The sports facilities were not part of the original proposal for MTD for Phase 1. It was BCDA who required that they be part of Phase 1 to fulfill requirements for the Southeast Asian Games 2019.”
“The contract is very advantageous to the government because the government will not pay a single centavo to the developer, until the sports facilities are completed and accepted,” he added.
The New Clark City sports facilities include the Athletics Stadium, the Aquatics Center, and the Athletes’ Village — all of which are already being used for the 30th SEA Games.
“MTD borrowed from DBP [Development Bank of the Philippines] under commercial terms without any guarantees from the Philippine government, including BCDA,” Dizon went on. “The only guarantee submitted to DBP is a guarantee by MTD’s mother company in Malaysia.”
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