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P4B in grants from China OKd

The Chinese government has agreed to extend about P4 billion in grants for the construction of two bridges over Pasig River and two rehabilitation centers in Mindanao, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said.

Zhao yesterday said the bridges would cost some 500 million yuan while 50 million yuan would be allotted for the drug rehabilitation centers. This is equivalent to some P4 billion.

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The Chinese grant for the two bridges is among the key points agreed upon by top trade officials of both countries during the 28th Philippines-China Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JCETC) more than a week ago.

The drug rehabilitation centers to be supported by the grant will have 150 beds each. It is seen to help boost the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

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“I think the drug rehab centers will cost about 50 million yuan and the Pasig river bridges will involve about 500 million yuan. We hope we can do it as soon as possible,” he said at the sidelines of a signing ceremony.

The grants point toward China and the Philippines fostering closer relationship in terms of trade and investments while keeping a soft stance on the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute.

There is still no timetable for the projects, but he said China would want to make them “iconic symbols of Chinese and Philippine friendship.”

Meantime, Zhao said Vice Premier Wang Yang would arrive in the Philippines on Thursday. He will be the highest Chinese official to visit the country under the Duterte administration.

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TAGS: Chinese government, construction of two bridges, P4B in grants, Zhao Jianhua
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