PH, Japan to assess pandemic’s impact on infra projects
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, close cooperation between the Philippines and Japan in infrastructure development continues under the leadership of new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Tuesday.
Ten months after their last meeting held in Hakone, Japan, last December, top Philippine and Japanese officials will meet on Wednesday for the 10th Japan-Philippines Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation. This latest round of bilateral meeting will be virtual for the first time.
The Philippine side will be led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III while Japan’s team will be chaired by Hiroto Izumi, Suga’s special adviser.
The two sides will discuss progress on the following big-ticket Japanese-funded infrastructure
projects that formed part of the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program: P356.9-billion Metro Manila Subway Phase 1; P149.1-billion North-South Railway; P76.4-billion Cebu-Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road; P46.8-billion Davao City Bypass, and P21.9-billion Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) Rehabilitation.
“Both sides will tackle the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of the Japan-supported projects and the safety of workers and other personnel involved in their construction,” the DOF said in a statement.
Also, the Philippine and Japanese governments will “provide updates from both sides on Japan’s assistance to the Philippines’ COVID-19 response efforts,” the DOF added.
In a separate statement on Tuesday, the aid agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) said it disbursed this week 10 billion yen out of its 50-billion yen quick-disbursing post-disaster standby loan phase 2, which was extended to the Philippines in September. INQ
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