The Philippines can use additional $500-million worth of development-cooperation fund from South Korea for the development of priority sectors of the country for years 2014 to 2017, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan said that the South Korean government offered $500 million for the funding of priority programs and projects in the Philippines for 2014 to 2017, sourced from their Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) to strengthen ties of the country to developing countries like the Philippines.
“The topped up EDCF provides additional funding option for items outlined in our Public Investment Program [PIP]. This should allow us to ensure execution of priority programs and projects in the next few years,” Tungpalan said.
EDCF already funded four projects in the Philippines from 2011 to 2013 including the Stage 2 of Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project, Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project, Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures in Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga Bay and the Baler-Casiguran Road Improvement Project.
Tungpalan said that this is because of South Korea’s interest in some sectors of the country including agriculture, energy and transportation, as well as disaster prevention and rehabilitation projects brought by destructions caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
“Their expertise in these areas could be beneficial to the country as we address infrastructure backlogs to accelerate development and recovery from recent calamities,” Tungpalan noted.
The foreign government, according to him, also took interest on the updated Philippine Development Program (PDP) and the intensifying of Philippine-South Korean collaboration in the future.
In terms of the PDP and its financing for implementation, Tungpalan said that the revised PDP would focus on sourcing from official development assistance (ODA) which would require “foreign content, expertise and technology.”
Further, the NEDA said that the country is looking to consider an ODA source or loan if it would include “inherent advantages and value-added” as the Department of Finance would identify the “most appropriate financing mode and source for the projects” to balance the country’s fiscal capabilities.
“While we appreciate development agencies offering financing assistance, we are firm on focusing these on the identified priority areas or sectors outlined in the PDP. We also would like to make sure we get high-quality, high-impact projects at the least cost,” Tungpalan said.