Japanese boost for PH.
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Philippine and Japanese officials have committed to fast-track the implementation of big-ticket infrastructure projects to be funded by Japan, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday.
Japan has a long history of providing assistance to the Philippines in infrastructure projects that benefit the common man.
The Third High-Level Meeting of the Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation took place in Tokyo on Monday.
Carlos G. Dominguez, the Finance Secretary was quite pleased with the progress in the talks. The roadmap for the cooperation was going on as scheduled, he said.
Moreover, he emphasized that the targeted milestones as planned was proceeding according to plan. He was referring to the July meeting between the two nations which was the second for the high level committee.
That meeting, held in Manila, had prepared the roadmap and schedule for the works. The Philippines and Japan had earmarked projects worth P315.4-billion in the July meeting.
Japan would be financing these projects.
Therefore, the agreement means that the implementation stage has arrived. Hence, the two sides will interact to decide the timelines for speedy completion of the flagship projects.
In effect, the focus would be on specific topics as envisaged under the joint plans. In addition, both sides agreed to fast-track their part of the paperwork and formalities to start the work.
Apart from the approvals, the two sides also agreed to adopt new measures that would push matters. These rounds of meetings did make a difference in improving and expediting processes.
Therefore, as an immediate measure, the Philippines have made a bid for presenting 8 projects to the Japanese for providing finance.
However, three vital projects are proposed for priority funding. These projects are as follows:
• The Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project costing P9.99-billion,
• The Mega Manila Subway Project-Phase 1 costing P230-billion and,
• The Malolos-Clark Airport-Clark Green City Rail Project costing P211.5-billion.
The commitment for loans for the above three projects was prioritized by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).This would be covered by Abe’s commitment of one trillion yen in official development assistance.
This was Official Development Assistance (ODA) whereas other investments were also promised spread over the next five years. Abe made this commitment during his last visit to the Philippines.
Furthermore, once the meetings with Japan are settled, Dominguez is leading a team of financial experts to China. The intention is to attract Chinese investors for infrastructure projects.
The Panda Bond sale is also looking for investors. The meeting today in Beijing is to discuss large infrastructure projects to be funded by China. official development assistance (ODA) from China will provide part of the funding.
The next day i.e. on Sept. 28, the Filipinos will address Chinese managers at Shanghai on the state of the economy of the Philippines.
Moreover, the upcoming sale of Panda bonds is slated for sale in the next two months. The bonds of a value of $200-million will be for three- to five-years. They are valued in Yuan as debt papers.
They have the approval of the Filipino Monetary Board, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ the highest policymaking body.
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Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017