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Philippines working on refund of P1.9-billion deposit for cancelled choppers deal with Russia

The Philippines is working to get back the P1.9-billion deposit it paid for the procurement of MI-17 helicopters from Russia, Defense Senior Undersecretary and officer in charge Jose Faustino Jr. has said.

During a hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance, Faustino said a contract termination review committee was processing the termination of the deal for 16 choppers worth over P12 billion.

“We are now exerting effort to refund the amount through diplomatic channels considering that the project was implemented through a government-to-government procurement,” Faustino said.

“The previous administration deemed that it was no longer feasible to pursue the project given the major sanctions imposed on Russia that affected its financial transactions,” he added.

It was Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa who followed up as regards the recover P1.9-billion advance payment made under the Duterte administration.

“It is processing the contract termination under the terms of reference for the project and in consonance with the guidelines of termination of the contract under RA 1984,” Faustino said.

The Philippine government made the deposit in January before the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February, a war that is still ongoing as of this time. A Kyiv government official last week said the invasion has caused Ukraine almost $1 trillion of damage

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Finance approved the proposed P240.29-billion budget of the DND for 2023 and recommended it to the plenary for deliberations. —NB, GMA News

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