Investigating ODA


Gov’t curbs access to information
amid Senate scrutiny of projects

By KAROL ANNE M. ILAGAN
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

THE PUBLIC’S right to information is expressly guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution and affirmed by the judiciary. Yet access to data held by state agencies not only remains limited, it has become nil in some cases, apparently because of the current Senate scrutiny of particular government projects.

In fact, based on the recent experience of the PCIJ, agencies that had previously been accommodating of requests for information have suddenly shut their doors on such. Read full story »


The Perils and Pitfalls of Aid
ODA surge sparks scandals for Arroyo, debt woes for RP
By ROEL R. LANDINGIN
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

First of Three Parts

FOREIGN AID inflows to the Philippines are soaring to their highest levels in about six years, but the availability of more money for government projects has not made life any easier for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Filipino taxpayers.

Indeed, the latest controversy to rock her seven-year reign stems from the sharp surge in official development assistance (ODA) from China, an emerging economic behemoth, and the Philippines’ growing inability to impose its procurement policies and procedures on ODA projects. Read full story»


Bids sans caps, tied loans favor foreign contractors
By ROEL R. LANDINGIN
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

Second of Three Parts

FOR ANTONIO Molano Jr. and other government engineers at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), it felt like being in “Groundhog Day,” the Bill Murray movie about a cynical TV reporter who kept reliving the same day over and over again.

Over a span of four years, Molano and his colleagues at the DPWH bids and awards committee (BAC) held three rounds of bidding for two World Bank-funded road projects in Mindanao and the Visayas. Read full story »


7 in 10 ODA projects fail to deliver touted benefits
By ROEL R. LANDINGIN
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

Last of Three Parts

AT LEAST seven in 10 projects funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans have failed to deliver their touted benefits and results, according to a six-month study of project documents conducted by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).

Stories about “white elephants” — grand but unfinished or unused public works projects, such as the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in the ’80s to the Telepono sa Barangay program in recent years abound. Yet many more ODA-funded projects disappoint, even after completion and roll-out. Read full story »

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