Another set of big-ticket infrastructure projects have been identified by the Department of Finance (DOF), which will undergo feasibility studies with possible Chinese grant financing.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a statement the Philippines has already submitted an indicative list of 12 big-ticket infrastructure projects to the new aid agency of the People’s Republic of China. The list includes the following:
- Future phases of the Mindanao Railway Project
- Luzon-Samar (Matnog-Alen) Bridge
- Dinagat (Leyte)-Surigao Link Bridge
- Camarines Sur-Catanduanes Friendship Bridge
- Development of the Luzon Eastern Seaboard
- Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge
- Cebu-Bohol Link Bridge
- Negros-Cebu Link Bridge
- Ipo Dam No.3
- Port Irene Development-navigation Channel
- Cabadbaran Small Reservoir Irrigation Project
- Camarines Sur River Basin and Watershed Management Project
Dominguez said that Beijing has already agreed to provide a $13.4-million grant, which will fund the feasibility study of the proposed bridge project that will link the islands of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros.
The finance chief met with China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) Chariman Wang Xiaotao last week, where the Exchange of Letters for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island bridge project was signed by Wang and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
Following that meeting, the Philippine delegation also met with Export-Import Bank of China (China EXIM) chairperson Hu Xiaolin to discuss loan financing and co-financing arrangements for the Philippines’ infrastructure projects.
Wang said that the Philippine delegation, led by Dominguez, was “the first high-level delegation” that CICDA has received since its establishment in April 2018. “This truly shows that China gives great importance to the promotion of its bilateral relations with the Philippines,” said Wang during the meeting. He assured the delegation that through CICDA, China will continue to provide assistance to the Philippines “in the direction determined by the leaders of both our countries.”
Dominguez thanked Wang for bestowing on the Philippines the honor of being the first foreign country to meet with CIDCA, and pointed out that “the helping hand of China has been very critical in the ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program of the Philippine government.”
The other members of the Philippine delegation included Socioeconomic Planing Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and other senior government officials aside from Dominguez and Villar.
On the side of China, present were CICDA Deputy Chairman Zhou Liujun, and Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and other officials.
CICDA was among the reforms unveiled by China during its National People’s Congress held last March of this year, and is responsible for administering foreign aid and development assistance to other countries.
via Manila Bulletin / Chino S. Leyco