The Philippines and Japan Re-Affirm their Commitment
In support of four infrastructure projects in the Philippines, Japan has approved the provision of Y3.1 billion (equivalent to P1.44 billion), says the Department of Finance (DOF).
Among the projects that this budget covers include the master plan for Subic Bay, the Cagayan de Oro-Malaybay Section of the Central Mindanao Highway, Cebu-Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction Project, and the Parañaque Spillway.
The DOF said that Japan has also committed to other projects and grants to the Philippines with highly concessional payment terms, perhaps under its Special Terms of Economic Partnership (STEP). The DOF also said that they hope to finalize the agreement for the second tranche loan for the Metro Manila Subway Project (Phase 1) in the first quarter of 2021.
Special advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister Hiroto Izumi said Tokyo remains committed to improving the bilateral ties with the Philippines under the leadership of new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. He said to the Philippine officials that their commitment to the country’s infrastructure projects remained the same. He also added that Japan would continue supporting the country in its fight against the pandemic.
For his part, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the two parties also discussed projects to speed up Mindanao’s economic development and peace-building initiatives. He said that Japan has firmed its commitment, which includes the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and the rehabilitation of Marawi city, upon the Philippines’ request. He also said that the two parties also talked about the ongoing pandemic.
Both parties also discussed the increase in project costs and the timeline of the projects.
The DOF said that the Philippines would still continue its conversations with affected stakeholders, and how to address these concerns.
“Our commitment to this long-standing partnership has proved beneficial amidst these trying times. Our cooperation in accelerating infrastructure development will be most critical in the country’s recovery from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dominguez said.