PH urges Japan to hasten Subic development blueprint
The head of the Duterte administration’s economic team on Thursday urged the visiting Japanese top diplomat to speed up the master plan to develop Subic Bay Freeport Zone and neighboring areas.
“I would like to thank the government of Japan for its support in the formulation of a master plan for the Subic Bay area and its surroundings. With the memorandum of cooperation for this commitment signed last month in Hakone, we look forward to Japan’s swift creation of the action plan for this project,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Toshimitsu Motegi during their bilateral meeting in Manila.
The memorandum of cooperation was signed on the sidelines of the Ninth High-Level Meeting of the Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation held in Japan last December.
The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier said the Japanese assistance in the creation of the Subic Bay master plan covered potential projects in disaster risk management, logistics terminal development, public utilities development and road network development.The master plan would be finalized “at the soonest possible time,” the DOF said.
The Philippines had tapped the expertise of the Japanese government’s aid arm Japan International Cooperation Agency in developing the master plan.
“Given what we have achieved in developing the Clark special economic zone, I am confident that the full development of Subic Bay will provide another important node for knowledge-based industries serving the whole of East Asia,” Dominguez said.
He added that with the implementation of more flagship projects under the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” expected to further accelerate in 2020, “we see more opportunities for financing and technical support from the government of Japan.”“We likewise look forward to continuing our comprehensive partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with the support of incoming president Masatsugu Asakawa,” the finance chief added.
Asakawa will take over as head of the Manila-based multilateral lender ADB on Jan. 17.
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