PHL, China execs eye infra projects implementable within 2-3 years

MANILA- Officials of the Philippines and China on Wednesday agreed to prioritize the funding and implementation of infrastructure projects that can be finished within two to three years to ensure that these will materialize within the Duterte administration.

In a statement, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III led Cabinet officials in welcoming a high level delegation from China, led by Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, Wednesday to discuss details of infrastructure projects that the Philippines submitted to China last year for funding.

Two possible projects that can be implemented within the year are the Php 450 million Binondo-Intramuros Bridge and the Php 260 million Estrella-Pantalleon Bridge, which the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) proposed to help decongest traffic in Metro Manila.

The statement said Zhong suggested the identification of projects that could be finished within two to three years for the parties to see "tangible progress".

Dominguez gave his thumbs up and said "we anticipate submitting more infrastructure projects that will be feasible and implementable within the Duterte administration."

Another major achievement during the meeting was the exchange of notes for the financing procedures and feasibility study of Department of Health-proposed drug rehabilitation facilities.

"Today adds another milestone in the Philippines' bilateral relations with the Chinese government. This consultation signifies a strong commitment between our governments to sustain and enhance our bilateral relations," Dominguez said during the meeting.

"We welcome and look forward to Minister Zhong's continued dialogue and express our optimism that under the honorable Minister's leadership, we can take our bilateral cooperation to new heights," he said.

Zhong, in turn, urged both parties to "continue working very closely and productively" on the projects discussed during the meeting and forecast that bilateral cooperation between the two countries may get "even better."

Dominguez also disclosed a plan to officially submit two large-scale infrastructure projects to China within the month - the USD53.6-million worth Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in the provinces of Cagayan and Kalinga and the USD374.03-million worth New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project in Quezon.

Source: Philippines News Agency