China commits financing for 12 PH infra projects
The Chinese government has identified a total of 12 Philippine projects that it plans to finance, including a donation for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City, the Department of Finance said Monday.
In a statement, the DOF said Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told China’s commerce ministry officials in Beijing last week that there was “additional progress” in firming up the first basket of projects that the Philippines was pitching for financing from the mainland.
“We recognize and appreciate the continuing engagement between our governments to speed up the preparations of the big-ticket infrastructure projects. Both governments are exerting efforts to streamline and expedite the approval process for the flagship projects,” Dominguez told the Chinese side led by Commerce Minister Zhong Shang.
For his part, Zhong was quoted by the DOF as telling the Philippine side during the meeting that they “[needed] to prioritize eight projects under the first basket so that substantial progress would have already been made by the time Premier Li Keqiang visits Manila in November” on the sidelines on the 31st Asean Summit.
According to Zhong, the first basket of projects to be funded by China included the following: P4.6-billion Binondo-Intramuros and P1.4-billion Estrella-Pantaleon bridges in Manila, which will be financed by grants; P10.9-billion New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project; and P2.7-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in Cagayan and Kalinga provinces.
Also part of the initial batch of projects were the elevated expressway in Davao City; construction of an industrial park; as well as two drug rehabilitation facilities, according to Zhong.
The Chinese government will also finance four more Philippine projects namely: reconstruction of Marawi under a 20-million-renminbi or $3-million donation in kind; Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island bridges; the provisions under the enforcement and security cooperation agreement between Manila and Beijing; and construction of an agriculture technical center, Zhong added.
Zhong “also expressed hope that the two sides could reach a consensus on the working level on the second basket of infrastructure projects presented by the Philippines for possible Chinese financing, so that the memoranda of understanding could be finalized on these before their leaders visit Manila next year,” the DOF said. /je
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