High-level meeting set in China for PH infra projects ? DOF
Philippine and Chinese officials are set to meet in Beijing this week to continue discussions on ways to address the issues and challenges in the preparation and implementation of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure projects that China has committed to support through Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans and grants.
The Department of Finance (DOF) said that the meetings, set on Aug. 22-24, will include updates on the progress of the “first basket” of projects for Chinese loan financing, such as the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project, the Philippine National Railways’ South Long Haul Project, and the Davao-Samal Bridge Construction Project, along with the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon bridges that are being funded with grants from China.
Led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the Philippine delegation to China will also include Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Socioeonomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar; and Vivencio Dizon, president-CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is also expected to join the Philippine delegation.
Dominguez and the other members of the delegation are set to meet with China’s State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan; Director Wang Xiaotao of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA); Chairperson Hu Xiaolian of the Export-Import Bank of China (China EXIM); and Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The delegation is also set to pay a courtesy call on Vice Premier of Economic Cooperation Hu Chunhua.
“The High-Level Meetings will focus on strengthening and enhancing our bilateral engagement and cooperation. We express the hope that a number of bilateral documents would be presented and signed during the meeting, among them the exchange of letters for the feasibility study of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Inter-Island Bridges Project," the DOF said.
Also up for discussion during the meeting are projects under the “second basket,” including the Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River Flood Control Projects, Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway Bridges Construction Project, Subic-Clark Railway Project, Safe Philippines Project Phase I, and the Rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi Hydroelectric Power Plants Project.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon bridges across the Pasig River was held last July 17. DMS