Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian on Friday said the Binondo-Intramuros (BI) Bridge Project is now 44 percent accomplished with only 128 Filipinos and 37 Chinese nationals working onsite.
Huang made this disclosure shortly after visiting the project site with Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso to inspect the progress of the epidemic prevention measures and resumption of production in the workplace.
During the on-site visit, Huang briefed the Manila mayor that the project had come to a halt since the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Manila in mid-March.
Since the lifting of the ECQ in May, Huang said the Chinese contractor has adopted a scientific approach to responding to the new normal and maintained a record of zero confirmed case on site.
“The project has been accomplished by 44 percent by the end of October of 2020,” the Chinese envoy said.
Although the local employees for the BI Bridge Project account for 77.6 percent of the total staff, Huang said more local workers will be hired as the implementation “dives deep.”
He said Chinese employees are mainly in place as managerial and technical personnel.
“Chinese enterprises in the Philippines have always attached great importance to localized development, always intending to hire local people as many as possible, being keen to practice technology transfer to the local and actively perform social responsibilities to better integrate into local society,” a statement from the Chinese Embassy said.
It added that the operations of Chinese companies in the Philippines have been inevitably affected due to the pandemic and local quarantine measures.
Despite the pandemic, the Embassy said major Chinese enterprises still created about 38,000 jobs for Filipinos, while the local employee hiring rate accounts for more than 92 percent.
“With the further deepening of China-Philippine economic and trade cooperation, more and more job opportunities would be created accordingly by the Chinese side,” it added.
The BI Bridge Project that connects Binondo and Intramuros, is the first China-funded infrastructure project in Metro Manila being undertaken under the Duterte administration. It is one of the 12 bridges projects on the Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway of the DPWH aimed to defuse traffic congestion.
The project started in July 2018 and is expected to be accomplished within the term of the Duterte presidency.