6 deals with Japan, China up for signing

By Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) expects six infrastructure projects funded by the governments of Japan and China will be signed within the first three months of the year.

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Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Y.C. Joven said that the infrastructure projects with the Japanese will be signed in February in time for their seventh development and economic cooperation meetings in Tokyo.

According to Joven, three infrastructure projects under Japan will be sealed this quarter, which include the north-south commuter railway, Pasig-Marikina river project phase four and the Mindanao road network project.

The DOF estimates the Japanese financing for the projects would amount to $10 million.

Aside from Japan, the Duterte administration is also expecting to sign another three infrastructure projects with China before end-March 2019.

Joven said the infrastructure projects they expect to sign with China in the first-quarter are the safe Philippines, the PNR South Long Haul project, and another bridge in Metro Manila.

But the finance official said the project cost of the infrastructure projects with China is lower than Japan’s $10 million and will be signed during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s visit to Beijing in April.

“Basically we’re timing the engagement with China in time for President Duterte’s visit to China this April, and for Japan, we’re timing it in time for the Japanese high level meeting which will be held in February in Japan,” he added.

The loan for the Pasig-Marikina river project phase four covers the river channel improvement works along the stretch of the Upper Marikina River, from the downstream of the Manggahan floodway to the Marikina bridge, and includes the construction of the Marikina control gate structure.

For the north-south commuter railway, the project involves extending the railway from Malolos in Bulacan to Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga and from Manila to Calamba in Laguna.

So far, China has extended a total of $290.8 million in grants to the Philippines to finance several infrastructure projects.