infra meeting set in Cebu tomorrow
MANILA, Feb 11 -- Philippine and Japanese officials will meet tomorrow
(Feb. 12) in the island of Mactan in Cebu province to discuss the progress
in the Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure projects that Japan
has committed to help finance through soft loans.
The meeting of the Philippines-Japan High-Level Committee on Infrastructure
and Economic Cooperation is set at the Shangrila Mactan in Lapu-Lapu City
and will be the fourth such dialogue to be held between the officials of the
two countries since the first was held in Tokyo in March last year.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III will chair the Philippine delegation
to the high-level meeting, which will also include key members of the
government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure team, while the Japanese
side will be led by Dr. Hiroto Izumi, who is Special Adviser to Japan Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe.
The meeting will begin at 9 am with opening remarks to be delivered by the
respective representatives from the Philippine and Japanese delegations.
After the meeting, officials from the two sides are expected to sign the
record of discussions and other documents related to the commitment on
infrastructure cooperation between the Philippine and Japan. A press
conference on the outcome of the meeting is scheduled at 12:30 PM also at
the Shangrila Mactan.
After attending the 31st ASEAN Summit and its Related Meetings in Manila
hosted by President Duterte in November last year, Prime Minister Abe stayed
behind for an official visit to personally witness the signing of several
agreements with the Philippines, most notable of which was the Exchange of
Notes for the JPY104.5 billion loan (about $929.1 million) to fund the first
tranche of loan requirements for the construction of the Metro Manila Subway
Project (Phase 1) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Dominguez, on behalf of the Philippine government, signed a 15.93 billion
yen (approx. $142 million) loan agreement with Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative to the Philippines Susumu Ito
for a project that aims to control and mitigate flooding in several areas in
Cavite that host economic zones and residential communities.
The Cavite Industrial Area Flood Risk Management Project, which will be
implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), stands to
benefit some 8,000 households as well as manufacturing plants in the cities
of General Trias and Imus and the municipalities of Kawit, Noveleta and
Rosario in Cavite.
Manila and Tokyo also signed during Prime Minister Abe’s November visit the
JPY9.399 billion loan (about $89 million) for the Arterial Road Bypass
Project (Phase III) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in
Plaridel, Bulacan; and the JPY2.5 billion (about $22.2 million) grant for
the Non-Project Grant Aid for the Economic and Social Development Programme,
which will benefit the Philippine Coast Guard’s anti-terrorism efforts and
DPWH’s quick rehabilitation program for Marawi City.
Prime Minister Abe announced during his first visit to the country in
January 2017 a total of ¥1 trillion ($9 billion) in official development
assistance (ODA) and investments to the Philippines for the next five years.
When President Duterte returned to Japan in October 2017, a year after his
official visit to that country in 2016, he witnessed the signing of 18
letters of intent by 20 Japanese companies to invest in the Philippines,
which represent about $6 billion-worth of new investments.
These include deals between Philippine and Japanese firms in the areas of
manufacturing, shipbuilding, iron and steel, agribusiness, power, renewable
energy, transportation, infrastructure, mineral processing, retailing,
information and communication technology, and business process management. (DOF)