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Foreign aid improves performance in 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The financial performance of projects and programs funded through Official Development Assistance (ODA) improved in 2014, indicating greater government efficiency in resource and program management, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
The NEDA ODA Portfolio Review for 2014 reported that the Philippines’ ODA portfolio consists of 76 loans and 449 grants totaling USD 14.37 billion. The report showed that indicators of government’s absorptive capacity for ODA Loans – disbursement level, disbursement rate, availment rate and disbursement ratio, showed improved performance in year 2014 as compared with the previous year.
The NEDA report showed that the overall disbursement level or the amount of ODA fund allotment that were actually used for ODA funded projects and programs, increased to USD 1.77 billion in 2014 from USD 856 million in 2013. This was mainly due to higher disbursement of program loans amounting to USD 1.28 billion and comprising about 73 percent of total disbursements made for the year.
Likewise, the disbursement rate, or the actual disbursement as a percentage of target disbursement for the period, increased from 60 percent in 2013 to 76 percent in 2014. Drawdowns of program loans accounted for more than half of the disbursements.
Further, the availment rate increased from 76 percent in CY 2013 to 83 percent as of end of CY 2014. Availment rate is the cumulative actual disbursements as a percentage of cumulative scheduled disbursement, both reckoned from the start of implementation up to the reporting period.
On the other hand, the grants financial performance (50 percent) registered a 2-percentage-point decrease in 2014 compared with the previous year. As of December 2014, USD 1.60 billion was disbursed out of the USD 3.19 billion allotted for 449 active grants.
Of the total USD 14.37 billion ODA, the World Bank had the largest share in the portfolio representing 32 percent (USD 4.54 billion). Japan came second with 23 percent share (USD 3.33 billion), followed by Asian Development Bank and USA with 16 percent share (USD 2.35 billion) and 8 percent share (USD 1.15 billion), respectively. The total assistance from these development partners comprised 80 percent or USD 11.36 billion of the portfolio for the year.
Meanwhile, the United States, United Nation System and Australia were recorded as top providers of grant assistance to the Philippines with USD 1,148.56 million (36% share), USD 608.48 million (19%), and USD 587.02 million (18%), respectively.
The Infrastructure Development sector accounted for the largest share of the loans portfolio in terms of net commitment with 39 percentage share (USD 4.32 billion for 34 loans), followed by the Social Reform and Community Development (SRCD) with 24 percentage share (USD 2.68 billion for 11 loans) and Governance and Institution Development (GID) with 22 percentage share (USD 2.46 billion for 8 loans).
For ODA grants, the SRCD, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Natural Resources, and GID registered the highest percentage share in terms of grant amount with 37 percent (USD 1,193.51 million for 151 grants), 25 percent (USD 793.71 million for 90 grants), and 18 percent (USD 583.04 million for 141 grants), respectively.
NEDA conducts regular consultations with implementing agencies, development partners, sector staff and regional offices to discuss and resolve issues affecting delivery of ODA commitments towards improving portfolio management and information system support.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.