China is ready to work with the Philippines on a second basket of infrastructure projects that was pitched for possible financing last week, the Finance department said.
In a statement on Monday, the department quoted China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shang as saying that he hoped to “reach a consensus on the working level”.
“We hope that continuous progress can be made on our priority projects so that we can reach the consensus of our two Presidents and we can press ahead with our economic cooperation and trade,” Zhong was said to have declared during a meeting with Philipine economic managers in Beijing last week.
The Finance department did not provide the list of the projects presented to China.
Nevertheless, it said that Philippine and Chinese officials cited efforts to further streamline and expedite approvals of the first basket of projects.
“We recognize and appreciate the continuing engagement between our governments to speed up the preparations of the big-ticket infrastructure projects. Both governments are exerting efforts to streamline and expedite the approval process for the flagship projects,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said at the meeting.
The projects up for fast-tracking are the Binondo-Intramuros and the Estrella-Pantaleon bridges in Metro Manila; the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in Cagayan and Kalinga provinces and the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project; two drug rehabilitation facilities; the Elevated Expressway in Davao City; and the construction of an industrial park.
Also included are the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island bridges; reconstruction of conflict-hit Marawi City, for which China has already provided a 20-million renminbi ($3 million) donation in kind; provisions under an enforcement and security cooperation agreement between the two countries; and construction of an agriculture technical center in the Philippines.
Zhong concurred with Dominguez on moving faster with regard to ongoing projects.
He also cited the need to tap additional financing sources such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank as well as the Silk Road Fund under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.