Gov’t creates task force for China-funded projects

Published August 27, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

Carlos G. Dominguez III. (Bloomberg)
Carlos G. Dominguez III. (Bloomberg)



The Department of Finance (DOF) said that an interagency task force has been created to closely monitor the preparation and processing of the Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure projects being funded by China.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the interagency task force aims to swiftly address the challenges and concerns in the implementation of the China-funded infrastructure projects.

Dominguez said the task force has been meeting regularly and “has been effective in monitoring and facilitating the preparation and implementation” of projects proposed for China’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) financing.

Last week, a Philippine delegation went to Beijing and held a high-level meeting with Chinese officials led by Commerce Minister Zhong Shan.

Dominguez, meanwhile, welcomed the creation of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) as one of the reforms announced during China’s 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) last March 2018.

“We look forward to working with them,” Dominguez said.

CIDCA, which is directly under China’s State Council, is the lead agency that provides government concessional loan financing.

Dominguez said last Friday that Manila and Beijing have affirmed their commitment to speed up the preparation and processes needed to ensure the timely implementation of the Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure projects with financial support from China.

In his meeting with the People’s Republic of China’s State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi, Dominguez said that project preparations “have already been moving quite fast ahead.”
In particular, Dominguez said they will hasten the project implementation of the South Long Haul Manila-Bicol Railway and the Clark-Subic Railway projects.

“Under the guidance of President Duterte, we have been working very hard to achieve both the goals of President Duterte and President Xi Jinping in the development of the relationship between China and the Philippines,” Dominguez said during the meeting.

Wang, for his part, said that “what is needed now [are] specific and concrete actions to move forward [our] practical cooperation across the board.”

“What I hope you and our other friends sitting here today will do is to have more communication with your counterparts so that jointly, we can fully tap the potential of our cooperation,” Wang said.

Also at the meeting were the other members of the Philippine delegation, including Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

Others in the delegation were Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade; Vivencio Dizon, president-CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority; and other senior government officials.