ODA use just slightly better in first half

ODA use just slightly better in first half
BusinessWorld Online
THE GOVERNMENT slightly improved its use of official development assistance (ODA) in the first half, compared to the same period last year, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said in a press release yesterday.

Citing details of its latest ODA loan performance report, NEDA noted that ODA commitments totaled $8.8 billion as of June, about $800 million more than the amount pledged in the same period last year.

The government availed of $3.899 billion out of the $4.764 billion scheduled for use in the first half, NEDA said.

That, in turn, brought availment rate, or actual use of loan against the total programmed for a specific period, to a slightly better 81.84% from 81% last year.

Of the amount availed, the government disbursed about $963.74 million in the first half, or 16.59% more than the $826.59 million disbursed in the same period last year.

Disbursement rate (actual versus target disbursements) slightly increased to 86.68% in the first semester from 86.37% in the same period last year.

Moreover, disbursement ratio, or the proportion of actual disbursement against the total loan balance, rose to 20% from 17%.

Three program loans worth a total of $452.8 million accounted for bulk of the disbursements in the first semester, namely:

  • the French Development Agency’s “Local Government Financing and Budget Reform Program-Subprogram 2,” which aims to strengthen financing of local governments to enhance delivery of environmental, health and social services;
  • the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) “Emergency Budget Support Loan,” designed to support economic measures deemed needed to expand domestic demand amid the economic crisis; and
  • JICA’s “Development Policy Support Program III,” which aims to help improve the country’s attractiveness to foreign investments through reforms in tax refund, customs services and procedures.

ODA consists of either loans or grants, provided for purposes of capital or technical assistance to the government. Loans are earmarked either for specific projects, designed to achieve particular objectives given specific resources and implementation time tables, or for programs in the form of budget support for regular activities of the government.

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