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Phl proposes 40 projects for possible China funding

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has submitted 40 projects for possible funding support from China, the Department of Finance said yesterday.

Of the 40 projects, 15 were proposed for loan financing, while 25 were submitted for feasibility study support.

The projects were presented to China by a high level Philippine delegation led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez during a two-day visit in Beijing. Details of the proposed projects will be further discussed in Manila next month.

“It was a very positive and very productive meeting. My expectation is that the projects that we have discussed would be implemented very quickly and that it would benefit both (the) people (of China and the Philippines),” Dominguez said.

Dominguez further described the meeting as a “productive” first step toward strengthening the ties between the two countries.

The DOF said three of the submitted proposals were large-scale projects in the field of irrigation, logistics and utilities, with a combined requirement of $3.4 billion.

These are the $53.6 million Chico River Pump Irrigation project covering Cagayan and Kalinga, $374.03 million New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon, and the $3.01 billion South Line segment of the North to South Railway spanning Manila to Legaspi City in Bicol.

Dominguez said other projects on the list were relatively smaller in scale and easier to implement, such as the construction of bridges across the Pasig River to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

All the projects submitted were aimed toward helping realize the administration’s goal to reduce poverty, according to Dominguez.

The Philippine delegation met with officials of China’s Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Development and Reform Commission and China Investment Corp. during the two-day mission.

This is the second discussion between China and the Philippines since November regarding the $15 billion investment pledges of China.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia were also included in the delegation.

Dominguez said the assistance extended by China to the country is a result of the current administration’s foreign policy rebalancing towards accelerated integration with Southeast Asian countries and other major Asian trading partners.

He also described President Duterte’s move to recalibrate the country’s foreign policy a “very smart move” amid global uncertainty over a possible overhaul of US trade policies under the presidency of Donald Trump.

(The Philippine Star) – January 26, 2017 – 12:00am
http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/01/26/1665434/phl-proposes-40-projects-possible-china-funding

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