PH, Japan to firm up financing for P315.4B in infra projects
The Duterte administration’s economic managers and the Japanese government next week will firm up financing commitments for P315.4 billion in big-ticket infrastructure projects, the Department of Finance said Friday.
In a statement, the DOF said the Philippines-Japan High-Level Committee on Infrastructure and Economic Cooperation will meet in Tokyo on Sept. 25, their third meeting after the meetings held also in Tokyo in March and in Manila in July.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, who co-chairs the Philippine side with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, said this upcoming latest round of meeting “will focus on ways to speed up the processing and implementation of timelines of the flagship infrastructure projects that are being eyed for possible Japanese financing.”
Pernia had said that eight projects will be pitched for financing by the Japanese government, namely: Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project; Circumferential Road 3 Missing Link Project; Dalton Pass East Alignment Alternative Road Project; Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Phase 2; Malolos-Clark Railway Project; Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1; Pasig Marikina Channel Improvement Project (Phase 4); as well as Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao.
“We want to discuss with them how we can fast-track the process of implementing the projects,” Dominguez said.
For the part of the Philippine government, Dominguez said it was “set to implement measures that would further speed up the approval process for its big-ticket infrastructure projects.”
“The Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) will seek the approval by the National Economic and Development Authority Board chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte of a new ‘three-in-one’ streamlined process so that the time devoted to the necessary government actions prior to the processing for infrastructure projects funded by official development assistance (ODA) loans would be reduced from the usual four to eight weeks to just one Neda Board meeting,” according to Dominguez.
“Under the streamlined ‘three-in-one’ process, the Neda Board approval, the issuance of the special Presidential authority to government officials to negotiate and sign the loan, guarantee or grant agreement for the project, and the forward obligational authority by the Department of Budget and Management would be issued simultaneously during a single Neda Board meeting,” the Finance chief explained.
Joining Dominguez and Pernia in Japan are Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, as well as Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Vivencio Dizon.
The economic managers will meet with Hiroto Izumi, special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who also heads the Japan side of the high-level committee, as well as officials of the aid agency Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and the ministries of economy, of finance, of foreign affairs, of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, and of trade and industry.
Neda had said that the Philippine and Japanese governments would likely sign the loan commitments for three big-ticket projects when Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Manila in November, namely the P230-billion Mega Manila Subway Project-Phase 1, the P211.5-billion Malolos-Clark Airport-Clark Green City Rail Project, and the P9.99-billion Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project.
During his visit to the Philippines last January, Abe committed up to one trillion yen in official development assistance as well as investments to the Philippines in the next five years.
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