China open to co-financing for PHL infra projects – Dominguez
By Joann Santiago
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Chinese authorities are open to the Philippine government’s proposal to co-finance big-ticket infrastructure projects presented during the recent top-level economic mission to China.
In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said China Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng welcomed the proposal to help provide financing along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) among others.
He said Gao informed the Philippine officials, during the Jan. 23-24 economic mission, that the Chinese government would want “to clarify the operating procedures” for this scheme to ensure a smooth implementation once it is approved.
He said the Chinese authorities also recognized the urgency of implementing the projects as soon as possible and the need for “openness and transparency” terms of the ongoing discussions on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s visit to China in October 2016.
The Philippine delegation to China presented 40 infrastructure projects for financing and feasibility studies.
Earlier, Dominguez said three of the projects, worth about USD3.4 billion, had been presented for financing before the Chinese Commerce Minister.
These projects are the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in the provinces of Cagayan and Kalinga, estimated to cost USD 53.6 million; the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project in Quezon, USD 374.03 million; and the South Line of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP) running from Manila to Legazpi City in Bicol, USD 3.01 billion.
These have been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Investment Coordination Committee and were submitted for financing under the USD 3.4-billion assistance offered by the Export-Import Bank of China (China EXIM), USD 2 billion of which are new commitments. (PNA)