PH to fast-track China-funded projects
The Philippine government has streamlined the approval process for the big-ticket infrastructure projects to be funded by China in order to fast-track their implementation, the Department of Finance said yesterday.
During a weekend meeting between the Duterte administration’s economic managers and a visiting Chinese delegation led by China Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, the two sides noted the “substantial progress made in revitalizing and strengthening economic relations between their two countries,” the DOF said in a statement.
They attributed the closer economic ties to “favorable and enabling environment fostered by their continuous efforts to fast-track the implementation of infrastructure projects that the Philippines has presented to China for possible financing,” the DOF added.
Specifically, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Zhong both “acknowledged the efforts of the two sides to streamline government processes to speed up the preparations for and implementation of the first basket of infrastructure projects presented for Chinese financing,” according to the DOF.
The first batch to be financed by China included the P10.9-billion New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project and the P2.7-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project.
Dominguez disclosed that “potential bidders have already been identified for the Chico Irrigation and Kaliwa Dam projects,” but did not elaborate.
“It is the first time in the history between our two countries that we are working this close and fast together,” Dominguez noted.
For his part, Zhong said China’s Ministry of Commerce would spare no effort to accelerate the construction of all these key projects and “it is our sincere hope these projects can be started at an early date and will be completed at an early date.”
The two countries should continue to work closely and productively and continue the favorable and enabling environment to improve the efficiency of the work of the two sides in terms of speeding up the implementation of the Philippines’ infrastructure projects, the DOF quoted Zhong as saying.
According to the DOF, the Chinese government was looking forward to the submission of the second list of projects being lined up by the Philippines for possible funding by China. —BEN O. DE VERA