PH seeks Japan funding of big infra projects


Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd is leading a Cabinet-level delegation in Tokyo next week to discuss with Japanese officials a prospective list of big infrastructure projects that the Philippines could implement possibly in tandem with Japan.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Finance (DoF) said the March 27-28 session, the first to be held under the Joint Committee on Philippines-Japan Infrastructure and Economic Cooperation, follows the successful official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan last year and the reciprocal visit made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Philippines in January.

“During Prime Minister Abe’s visit to President Duterte’s home city of Davao two months ago, he committed a total of one trillion yen in official development assistance and investments to the Philippines within the next five years,” the department said.

A formal invitation to the joint committee meeting was sent to Dominguez by Dr. Hiroto Izumi, the special advisor to Abe, it noted. Izumi asked Dominguez to co-chair the joint committee.

Besides Dominguez, the Philippine delegation includes Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Secretaries Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management, Alfonso Cusi of the Department of Energy and Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority.

Joining the group are Vivencio Dizon, president and chief executive officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority; Undersecretary Cesar Chavez of the Department of Transportation; and Charge d’Affaires Eduardo Martin Meñez of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo.

“The Dominguez-led delegation is expected to present the Philippines’ medium-term development plan and update Japanese officials on the country’s macroeconomic situation during the joint committee meeting,” it said.

The DoF said the team is expected to discuss a potential list of Philippine infrastructure projects for possible Japanese financing with high-ranking officials of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Health, Labor and Welfare; Finance; Economy, Trade and Industry; Internal Affairs and Communications; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Land Infrastructure and Transport.

Set for discussion during the meeting are possible cooperation agreements between the two countries in the areas of infrastructure, energy and support for Mindanao, as well as public safety, which includes counterterrorism and the anti-illegal drugs campaign, environment and agriculture, disaster prevention, information technology, and human resource development, it said.


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