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PHL, Japan discuss possible financing for PHP315B worth of infra projects

Philippine economic managers are optimistic on the future of nine priority infrastructure projects worth a total of PHP315 billion that have been submitted for possible Japanese government financing.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, in a briefing after the 2nd Philippine-Japan high level joint committee and infrastructure development and economic cooperation meeting held at the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) office in Manila, said the meeting focused on informing their Japanese counterparts on how the current administration would firm up the implementation of the projects.

He said plans and actions on how the projects would be undertaken had been discussed in a bid to “ensure the swift implementation of big-ticket projects.”

He and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia led the Philippine delegation while their Japanese counterparts were led by Dr. Hiroto Izumi, special advisor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Pernia, during the same briefing, said the first set of projects submitted for possible financing include the first phase of the Mega Manila Subway Project, worth PHP214 billion; and the Malolos-Clark Railway project worth PHP95.4 billion.

Other projects submitted for financing include the Cavite industrial area flood management project, the PHP4-billion Dalton Pass east alignment alternative road project, the road network development project in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, the Circumferential Road 3 missing link project.

Also, the Pasig River-Marikina Channel improvement project Phase IV, the USD46.17 million or Php2 billion worth Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation (Harvest) proposed by the Land Bank of the Philippines(Landbank), and the second phase of the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project.

Dominguez said the Japanese government would initially help in the conduct of feasibility studies.

He said financing would be done with the help of several agencies such as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

He said results of the second meeting “is testament to the rejuvenated relations between Manila and Tokyo under the governments of President Duterte and Prime Minister Abe.”

“It vindicates the foreign policy re-balancing that President Duterte had put in place at the start of his administration that is anchored on the Philippines’ greater economic integration with its neighbors and other Asian countries,” he said.

The first meeting of the group was held in Japan last March while date and venue for the third meeting was not determined yet, he added.

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