BCDA paid Malaysian firm for SEA Games deal last March after completion of sports facilities — Dizon
MANILA, Oct 5 (Mabuhay) — The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Monday maintained that its joint venture agreement with a Malaysian firm for the construction of sports facilities for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games were above board.
During the Senate hearing on BCDA’s proposed P5.795 billion budget for 2021, its chief Vince Dizon emphasized that the government made the payments only after all the sports facilities in New Clark City were completed.
“The construction of the sports facilities was only paid for after it was duly completed and accepted by the BCDA and, of course, used during the Southeast Asian Games,” he said.
“The payment was only made, in fact, after the Southeast Asian Games was hosted. It was only made earlier this year in March,” he added.
Dizon made the remark after Senator Nancy Binay cited a previous Commission on Audit observation that the BDCA contract with the Malaysian firm MTD Capital Berhad is “prejudicial to the interest of the government.”
“The audit observation po said that ‘yung sa sports facilities, ‘yung mode of procurement, ‘yung JV (joint venture), tinanong po ng COA if this is prejudicial or not to the national government,” Dizon said.
He added that the BCDA has explained to the COA that the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) opinion dated October 2, 2018 confirmed the legality of the agreement.
The BCDA earlier said the P9.5-billion budget for these sports facilities was funded through the General Appropriations Act approved and passed by Congress.
Dizon said as far as the sports facilities are concerned, the agreement with MTD was already over and the sports facilities are fully owned now by the BCDA.
The BCDA assured the public that the sports complex would continue to generate funds for the government.
“If not for COVID, this year we would have had at least five international groups that would lease the property on different occasions. The biggest of which would have been the Asian Swim Championships that were supposed to be held in November,” Dizon said.
Further, he said the BCDA also received an unsolicited proposal from the Robinsons Land and an Australian sports operator to operate and maintain the sport facilities.
“They’re proposing that they operate and run it at their own expense with revenue share for the national government,” he said.
Discussions with the proponents are ongoing and Dizon vowed to update the Senate on the developments.
During the budget deliberations last year, the Senate recalled the BCDA’s proposed fund for 2020 due to questions on how the SEA Games sports facilities will be maintained after the competitions. (MNS)