CHINA has granted P4 billion in funding to two more projects in the Philippines as part of the 28th Philippines-China Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JCETC), Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said on Wednesday.
“We have agreed, both sides, during the 28th JCETC that China is going to take these two projects as priority and these projects will [get grants]from the Chinese government,” Zhao told reporters during the Philippines-China Business Forum.
The first project involves the construction of two drug rehabilitation centers in Mindanao, costing 50 million yuan. The second involves two new bridges over Pasig River and will cost 500 million yuan.
“We hope we can do it as soon as possible, particularly the rehab center and the two bridge projects. We’re going to make the two bridges more convenient to transportation and has iconic symbols of China and Philippines friendship. No problem for the fund, that’s our grant and we’re fully funded,” Zhao added.
Zhao also announced the signing of a $1.7-billion deal between private Chinese and Philippine firms for the purchase of the latter’s agriculture products. “This is a direct response to President [Rodrigo Duterte’s] request, because he cares about the farmers. This is also an effort to balance our trade,” Zhao said.
This was the first for China to encourage businessmen to purchase such a huge amount, and also the first among Asean members, he said.
“The Chinese market is wide open for the Filipino products and demands are sizable,” the envoy said.
“So, produce more and export more to China. Like agriculture products, chemical products, minerals, and we need more products. I hope you can produce more,” Zhao added.