MANILA – The infrastructure program of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. got a boost following the signing of six bilateral agreements and one project implementation between the Philippines and China on Wednesday.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who signed the agreements and completion documents on behalf of the Philippine government, said they welcome China’s support to the government’s “Build Better More” infrastructure agenda.
“The signing of these agreements demonstrates the strong commitment between China and the Philippines to deepen bilateral cooperation through infrastructure development,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
The signing event, held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, was witnessed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of Marcos’ three-day state visit to the world’s second-largest economy.
The Department of Finance (DOF), on Thursday, said four of the loan agreements have an aggregate amount of USD201.8 million (around PHP11.3 billion) and were co-signed by Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) Chairman Wu Fulin.
These agreements will fund the Priority Bridges Crossing Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway, it said.
The latest financing from China brought to USD1.06 billion its total loan commitments for ongoing projects in the Philippines, it said.
Relatively, DOF said the Framework Agreement for the implementation of the Priority Bridges Crossing Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway under Chinese Government Financing, which was co-signed by China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) Chairman Luo Zhaohui, is a precursor agreement that gives the Philippines access to the Renminbi (RMB)-denominated government concessional loan (GCL) facility portion of the loan.
The Finance Department said Diokno and Luo also inked the agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two governments, worth 1.5 billion renminbi (around PHP12.2 billion) for projects to be determined by both countries “based on the development plan and specific needs of the Philippine government.”
Also, Diokno signed along with Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao the handover certificate for the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge – both of which were financed by the Chinese government and were completed on April 13, 2022 and Sept. 17, 2021, respectively.
“The two bridges, spanning Manila, Makati, and Mandaluyong, seek to improve the capacity and efficiency of the road transport network in Metro Manila,” the DOF said. (PNA)