A Philippine delegation led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has submitted a total of 40 “large and small” infrastructure projects to China for possible loan financing and assistance in conducting feasibility studies, with further discussions on the proposals to take place in Manila next month.
Dominguez said the meeting of the high-level Philippine team with officials of China’s Commerce Ministry was a “productive first step towards achieving the desire of President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping” for further reinforcing ties between the two countries.
Of the 40 projects, 15 are being proposed for loan financing while another 25 were submitted for feasibility study support.
The Philippine delegation is composed of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, and National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Ernesto Pernia.
“It was a very positive and very productive meeting,” Dominguez said in an interview here with members of the Chinese media.
“My expectation is that the projects that we have discussed would be implemented very quickly and that it would benefit both (the) people (of China and the Philippines).”
Three of the large-scale projects submitted for Chinese loan financing are meant 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.
These three projects, with a combined total of $3.4 billion, are the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in the provinces of Cagayan and Kalinga with an estimated total project cost of $53.6 million; the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project in Quezon, $374.03 million; and the South Line of the North-South Railway running from Manila to Legaspi City in Bicol, $3.01 billion.