Gov’t readies 13 more projects for Chinese financing
The Philippine government plans to pitch up to 13 projects that can be rolled out in the next two to three years for potential Chinese financing, the Department of Finance said Thursday.
To be officially submitted for the Chinese government’s consideration, according to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, were two big-ticket projects, namely the $374.03-million New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project in Quezon province and the $53.6-million Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in Cagayan and Kalinga provinces.
On top of these, Dominguez said Philippine officials were looking at nine other big projects that China could fund or help particularly in the conduct of feasibility studies.
“As soon as we receive the endorsement of the National Economic and Development Authority on these nine projects, we will submit them through the Chinese Embassy in Manila,” Dominguez told visiting Chinese officials led by Commerce Minister Zhong Shan in a meeting in Manila on Wednesday.
Last month, the Chinese government appointed Zhong as replacement for former minister Gao Hucheng.
At the meeting, “Zhong suggested that both sides identify priority projects that could be completed within a two- to three-year period to show tangible progress and results before the end of the Duterte administration,” the DOF said.
“Dominguez agreed with Zhong’s suggestion, saying ‘we anticipate submitting more infrastructure projects that will be feasible and implementable within the Duterte administration,’” the DOF said in a statement.
In the same statement, the department added that the finance chief wanted to make “substantive progress” in their discussions within the year.
According to the DOF, the Philippine side also identified two relatively small projects, both aimed at decongesting Metro Manila traffic, which the Department of Public Works and Highways could implement within this year: the P450-million Binondo-Intramuros Bridge and the P260-million Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge.
The DOF said the Chinese side indicated that it would support these two bridge projects through grant financing.
The DOF quoted Dominguez as saying that the meeting between top-level Philippine and Chinese economic officials underscored “a strong commitment between the two governments to sustain and enhance our bilateral relations.”
“We welcome and look forward to continuing dialogue with Minister Zhong’s, and express our optimism that under the honorable minister’s leadership, we can take our bilateral cooperation to new heights,” Dominguez said.
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