Agriculture chief in Hungary to get P30-B loan for Laguna Lake cleanup, rubber project
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is going to Hungary to finalize a P30-billion loan from its government to clean up of Laguna Lake and establish a rubber plant in Mindanao.
In an interview with reporters, the agriculture secretary said the Hungarian government offered a 500 million euro loan that he expected to finalize this weekend.
“Secretary Dominguez asked me to follow up on their offer for a credit facility through Hungary’s Eximbank,” Piñol said, referring to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is planning to allocate P20 billion of the loan for the rehabilitation of the Laguna Lake, which is part of the government’s master plan to improve its local marine productivity. The remaining P10 billion would be invested in the rubber industry.
Accompanying Piñol in the official business trip are Laguna Lake Development Authority general manager Joey Medina and Udenna Corp. founder Dennis Uy.
Udenna will serve as the primary investor in the rubber plant.
Piñol is also set to meet with the Finnish group Black Donuts Engineering Inc. to finalize a memorandum of agreement that will allow DA to start its feasibility study. Black Donuts, which will lead the project’s design, is expected to sign an agreement with Udenna as well.
Philippine Rubber Research Institute head Rodolfo Galang said the total cost for the feasibility study was expected to reach at least P50 million, the bulk of which would be used to pay for consultants that would be hired by the agency.
If things go as planned, they are expecting the feasibility study to be finished within the year.
The planned manufacturing plant is estimated to produce four million tires a year, or the equivalent of about 16,000 metric tons of rubber to be planted and produced annually.
It will cater to domestic consumption for the production of tires for passenger vehicles, small pick-ups and agricultural machineries. However, Galang said that they could not stop Udenna if it has plans to sell overseas.
Currently, the country produces 100 metric tons of rubber annually.
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