China to finance P743B in PH infra projects
Infrastructure to be financed by Chinese loans and grants are moving toward implementation ahead of the forthcoming visit of President Xi Jinping in November even as China has yet to provide the Philippine government with a shortlist of contractors for some projects, National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) documents showed.
Based on the pipeline of programs and projects for official development assistance as of Sept. 28, 18 projects and programs worth a total of P743 billion would be rolled out using Chinese financing—16 worth P740.5 billion through loans on top of two projects with a combined project cost of P2.5 billion through grants.
The Bases Conversion and Development (BCDA) Authority’s P1.6-billion New Clark City High Performance Gymnasium and Sports Museum as well as the Bureau of Corrections’ P938.7-million Super Maximum Security Compound will be funded by Chinese grants, although the grant amounts were yet to be determined.
These two projects being pitched for Chinese grant financing were both pending approval of the interagency Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee.
Government sources said at least three loan agreements would be signed on the sidelines of Xi’s visit to Manila, of which financing for two projects were ready for signing—the P175.3-billion North-South Railway Project (NSRP)-South Line (Long Haul) as well as the P12.2-billion New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project.
To be implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the NSRP-South Line involves the construction and subsequent operation and maintenance of a 581-kilometer standard-gauge long-haul railway operations from Los Baños to Matnog and a branch line from Calamba to Batangas, Neda said.
The railway project “aims to achieve less than five-hour travel time from Manila to Legazpi,” Neda added.
As of last month, procurement of the project management consultancy contract worth P14.8 billion was ongoing, according to Neda.
The Kaliwa Dam project to be rolled out by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, meanwhile, involves the construction of a dam and conveyance tunnel that will provide additional 600 million liters of raw water to ensure water security in the whole of Metro Manila and parts of Cavite and Rizal, Neda said.
So far, bidding for design and construction works has been completed and post-qualification process is ongoing for the dam project, according to Neda.
Also under negotiations for loan from China was the BCDA’s P57.2-billion Subic-Clark Railway Project that will connect the two freeport zones in Central Luzon. It is in pre-procurement stage as the BCDA and the DOTr prepare the contract and bidding documents ahead of the targeted signing of commercial contract in November.
The following projects led by the Department of Public Works and Highways will also secure Chinese loans: P13.7-billion construction of five bridges across the Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway; P39.2-billion Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River Flood Control Projects; feasibility studies for the P25.6-billion Davao City Expressway Project, P97.3-billion Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges, P56.6-billion Cebu-Bohol Link Bridge, P44.6-billion North Luzon Expressway East Project, P47.4-billion Dinagat (Leyte)-Surigao Link Bridge, P57.6-billion Luzon-Samar Link Bridge, P72.1-billion Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge, P14.4-billion Negros-Cebu Link Bridge, and P2.3-billion Camarines Sur Expressway Project.