Gov’t to for­mal­ize China, Ja­pan loans for in­fra

The Philip­pines is ex­pected to sign three loan agree­ments with Ja­pan and an­other two with China within the first quar­ter for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of big-ticket in­fra­struc­ture projects in the coun­try, the Depart­ment of Finance (DOF) said yes­ter­day.

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - By MARY GRACE PADIN

In an in­ter­view, Finance Un­der­sec­re­tary Mark Den­nis Joven said the DOF is look­ing for­ward to sign­ing with Ja­pan the Y167.199 bil­lion (P79.69 bil­lion) loan agree­ment for the North-South Com­muter Rail­way (NSCR) Ex­ten­sion Project, and the Y37.905 bil­lion (P18.61 bil­lion) loan for the Pasig-Marik­ina River Chan­nel Im­prove­ment Project Phase IV within the first quar­ter.

He said the loan ac­cord for the Road Net­work De­vel­op­ment Project in con­flict-af­fected ar­eas in Min­danao is also ex­pected to be signed with Ja­pan within the first quar­ter.

Fur­ther­more, Joven said the DOF may sign two loan agree­ments with Bei­jing within the first quar­ter, in­clud­ing those for the Safe Philip­pines Project Phase I, and con­sul­tancy ser­vices for the Philip­pine Na­tional Rail­ways (PNR) South Long-Haul Project.

“Ba­si­cally, we’re tim­ing the en­gage­ment with China in time for Pres­i­dent Duterte’s visit to China this April,” Joven said.

“For Ja­pan, we’re tim­ing it in time for the Ja­panese high­level meet­ing, which will be held in Fe­bru­ary in Ja­pan,” he said, re­fer­ring to the sev­enth meet­ing of the Philip­pines Ja­pan Joint Com­mit­tee on In­fra­struc­ture and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion.

Dur­ing the pre­vi­ous meet­ing of the com­mit­tee in Novem­ber last year, Manila and Tokyo ex­changed notes on the loans for the Pasig-Marik­ina River Chan­nel Im­prove­ment Project Phase IV and the NSCR ex­ten­sion project.

The loan for the Pasig Marik­ina River Chan­nel Im­prove­ment Project cov­ers the fi­nal phase of the project to mit­i­gate the fre­quent mas­sive flood­ing caused by the over­flow of the Pasig-Marik­ina River.

Its fi­nal stage in­volves river chan­nel im­prove­ment works along the stretch of the Up­per Marik­ina River, from the down­stream of the Mang­ga­han Flood­way to the Marik­ina Bridge, and in­cludes the con­struc­tion of the Marik­ina con­trol gate struc­ture.

The NSCR ex­ten­sion project, for its part, in­volves the ex­ten­sion of the rail­way from Malo­los, Bu­la­can to Clark In­ter­na­tional Air­port (CIA) and from Manila to Calamba, La­guna.

On the other hand, the DOF said China has so far ex­tended a to­tal of $290.8 mil­lion in grants to the Philip­pines.

Bei­jing also for­mal­ized its $62.09 mil­lion loan to the Philip­pines to help im­ple­ment the Chico River Pump Ir­ri­ga­tion Project, which broke ground in June 2018.

Last year, of­fi­cials of the two coun­tries also ex­changed doc­u­ments on the $211.21 mil­lion loan and guar­an­tee agree­ments for the New Cen­ten­nial Water Source- Kaliwa Dam Project.

The DOF said Manila and Bei­jing would con­tinue this year dis­cus­sions on the sec­ond bas­ket of pipe­line projects for pos­si­ble Chi­nese con­ces­sional fi­nanc­ing.

“We are for­tu­nate to have the full sup­port from our friends in the re­gion. Both Ja­pan and China have com­mit­ted about $9 bil­lion each in in­vest­ments and of­fi­cial de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tance (ODA), while South Korea has pledged up to $1 bil­lion in ODA un­der Pres­i­dent Duterte’s term. These com­mit­ments com­ple­ment the sup­port we are get­ting from mul­ti­lat­eral de­vel­op­ment in­sti­tu­tions,” Finance Sec­re­tary Car­los Dominguez said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.