China to jumpstart south rail line with $220-M loan | Inquirer Business

China to jumpstart south rail line with $220-M loan

By: - Business News Editor / @daxinq
/ 05:55 AM August 31, 2019

The Philippines and China sealed an agreement on a $219.7-million preferential buyer’s credit facility to fund the project management consultancy of the Philippine National Railways’ south long haul project, the Department of Finance said.

This infrastructure project under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program will link Metro Manila to Legazpi, Albay; Legaspi to Matnog, Sorsogon, and Calamba (in Laguna) to Batangas City.

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The services to be rendered by the project management consultancy cover the detailed engineering and design; preparation of the terms of reference and bidding documents for a design-and-build procurement process for the civil works, rolling stock and electromechanical system, and the construction supervision.

According to the finance department, the project management consultant would also provide tender assistance, which includes, among others, the market study, administration of the limited competitive bidding and tender award to the contractors and suppliers.

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President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the exchange of the signed loan agreement between Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Export-Import Bank of China vice president Xie Ping at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing.

The dollar-denominated loan has an interest rate of 2 percent with a maturity period of 20 years, inclusive of a seven-year grace period.

Presidents Duterte and Xi also witnessed the exchange of notes between Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi confirming the cooperation procedures and arrangements that will enable the Philippines to avail itself of Chinese concessional loans under a renminbi-denominated loan facility.

This loan facility between the DOF and the China International Development Cooperation Agency will help support the Duterte administration’s major projects that will promote economic and social development.

Two accords were also signed by Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero of the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs with Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and Minister Ni Yuefeng of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC).

These are the implementation agreement with the Ministry of Commerce on China’s donation of four mobile x-ray container vehicle inspection systems and two luggage inspection systems to the Philippines, and a separate intergovernmental accord with GACC defining the scope and guidelines that aim to strengthen the cooperation and mutual assistance on customs matters between the two countries.

Dominguez earlier said the agreement on cooperation and mutual assistance covered GACC’s commitment to assist the BOC in monitoring and stopping the entry into the Philippines of unauthorized cigarette-making machines originating from China.

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