China to send experts to conduct feasibility study on Davao City Expressway project

Published November 27, 2018, 1:54 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

China will send experts to the Philippines in batches to conduct a feasibility study on the Davao City Expressway project under a recently signed agreement.

DPWH logo (Manila Bulletin file photo)
DPWH logo (Manila Bulletin file photo)

The Chinese personnel and their equipment would be given tax exemptions, security and protection, among others, by the Philippine government during their work in the country.

These are among the guidelines listed “Implementation Agreement of the Feasibility Project for the Davao City Expressway Project” signed by the Philippines and China last week. The 12-month feasibility study on the proposed 26-kilometer expressway in President Duterte’s hometown costs RMB 25,830,000.

A copy of the agreement, signed by Public Works and Highways Mark Villar and China’s Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, was released by the Palace Tuesday.

Under the agreement, the Chinese experts will conduct on-site investigation, data collection, engineering area mapping, geological survey, geological exploration, hydrological survey, among others.

They will also prepare thematic reports on environmental impact assessment, social impact assessment, earthquake disaster assessment, hydrology and engineering geological survey.

It will also propose a feasibility study report “according to the project construction conditions, project tasks and scale, project layout and main structures, cost and economic evaluation as well as issues of concern to the Philippine government.”

China’s Agency for International Economic Cooperation of Ministry of Commerce (AIEC) has been assigned to implement and coordinate the project. CCCC Highway Consultants Co. Ltd was selected as the Chinese project implementation company.

A personnel list and dispatch plan will be submitted a month before the deployment of the Chinese personnel.

The agreement also stated the responsibilities of the Philippine side, including exempting or bearing the import and export duties and other taxes of equipment and materials of Chinese engineers and technicians for the completion of the feasibility study.

“The Philippine side shall be responsible for exempting all taxes incurred in the Philippines for the implementation of the project, including various taxes on Chinese technicians, management personnel during their work in the Philippines; taxes incurred by Chinese staff during their work in the Philippines when they brought instruments, equipment and a reasonable number of personal necessities into the Philippines; and taxes incurred in the employment of local workers,” the agreement read.

The pact also stated the Philippines would take necessary security measures to ensure the safety of life and property of the staff on both sides during their work as well as bear expenses for security work. Local policemen will be appointed to establish safety and security work mechanisms with the Chinese on-site personnel.

Under the agreement, Manila will also submit existing surveys and research required by China and coordinate relevant government agencies to support and assist the China-led feasibility study.

It will also assist the Chinese experts in handling residence and work permits, and ensure they will enjoy the same rights and preferential treatment as other aid experts sent by other countries.

“In case of work-related injuries, accidental casualties and death from disease, the aftermath of such accidents shall be handled by AIECO and Chinese Project Implementation Company, and the Philippines shall provide the necessary assistance,” the agreement read.

The Philippines will also be responsible for the environmental permit procedures required for the geological survey. It will also assist China in handling recruitment, dismissal and settlement of disputes and deaths among local workers.

The two sides may modify the conditions of the agreement through negotiations in case of force majeure, political and diplomatic factors, and changes in project construction. It may also be terminated as agreed by the two sides.

China will submit the feasibility study report to the Philippines for review and confirmation. Within month after the final review and confirmation by the Philippine side, the two parties would sign the “intergovernmental transfer certificate.”

If the Philippines fails to sign within a month, China will notify the Philippine side to hand over the project.

If the project is delayed or financial causes are due to the Philippine side, the implementation period will be extended accordingly and additional investment shall be shouldered by Manila.