• PH to hasten $4.4B worth of China-backed infra projects


    THE Philippines will prioritize 12 infrastructure project costing $4.4 billion for Chinese financing and feasibility study support, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Friday.

    In a statement, the DOF said the 12 priority infrastructure projects were part of 40 small and large projects presented to China during an economic mission to Beijing led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd this week.

    Nine projects need feasibility study support while three large-scale infrastructure projects need financing, the DOF said.

    The Finance department said the nine projects, which have a total indicative cost of $1 billion, aim to interconnect the country’s three main island groups, boost tourism, build a flood control system in Mindanao, and ensure Mindanao’s power supply.

    These projects are the North Luzon Expressway East Project, Panay Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges, Davao City Expressway, Ambal-Simuay Sub-Basin of the Mindanao River Basin Flood Control and River Protection Project, Dinagat (Leyte)-Surigao Link Bridge, Luzon-Samar Link Bridge, Agus 3 Hydroelectric Plant, Pasacao-Balatan Tourism Coastal Development Program, and the Camarines Sur Expressway.

    Dominguez said the Philippine government has submitted documents and materials to Chinese officials to speed up the assessment process for these projects.

    The DOF earlier said three large-scale infrastructure projects seeking financing, with combined cost of $3.4 billion, were the $53.6-million Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in the provinces of Cagayan and Kalinga; the $374.03-million New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project in Quezon; and the $3.01-billion South Line of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP) that will run from Manila to Legazpi City in Albay.

    According to Dominguez, the three projects that will undergo China’s loan application process have already been approved by the board of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Investment Coordination Committee.

    Dominguez said the Philippine government would seek loan financing from the Export-Import Bank of China, of which $2 billion would be new commitments.

    These projects aim to raise the productivity of small farmers, improve transportation and logistics services in underserved areas of Luzon, and ensure a steady water supply to Metro Manila, he said.

    “We are looking at implementing large infrastructure projects in the rural areas particularly in irrigation, logistics in bridges and roads to connect communities to the major markets,” Dominguez earlier said.


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