MANILA—Chinese government will finance some USD3.4-billion infrastructure projects in the Philippines, an offshoot of the signing of the 28th Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JCETC) held here on Tuesday.
Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan jointly announced after the signing of the 28th JCETC, that three infrastructure projects in the country would be funded through credit facility.
“To date, three priority projects have been identified mainly for the Chico River Pump Irrigation project, New Centennial Water Source (NCWS)-Kaliwa Dam Project and the North-South Railway – South Line as the first batch of projects,” said Lopez.
In a joint press conference, Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said that the largest funding would go to North-South Railway Project (NSRP)-South Line amounting to USD3.0 billion.
The 653-kilometer NSRP South Line covers Metro Manila to Legazpi City, Albay.
Moreover, the NCWS-Kaliwa Dam Project is estimated to cost USD374 million.
This project in CALABARZON area will be implemented by Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The Chico River Pump Irrigation project, which will cover Cagayan and Kalinga, is estimated to cost USD53.9 million.
Ministry of Commerce Director General Wu Zhengping noted that both governments target to launch the irrigation and dam projects by first half of the year, while the NSRP-South Line project will be launched by the end of 2017.
Aside from these projects, the Chinese government will provide grants to the Philippines to build two bridges over Pasig River.
The Chinese minister stressed that these cooperation on infrastructure projects indicates the strengthened bilateral relations between Beijing and Manila following the meeting of President Xi Jinping with President Rodrigo Duterte during the latter’s state visit to China last year.