PH-China loan signing for infra projects set

By Joann Villanueva

March 8, 2018, 6:24 pm

MANILA -- The Philippine government is set to sign agreements with the Chinese government for some of the Duterte administration’s priority infrastructure projects.

Finance Undersecretary Edita Tan said the loan agreement signing for the Chico River projects is tentatively scheduled in the third quarter of this year while the Kaliwa Dam and the Philippine National Railway (PN R) long-haul both in the second half of the year.

The PHP2.7-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project aims to irrigate around 8,700 hectares of agricultural land to help some 4,350 farmers and serve 21 villages in the provinces of Cagayan and Kalinga. It is expected to be finished within a three-year period.

Ensuring new water source for Metro Manila is the goal for the construction of the PHP18.72- billion proposed New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWSP) at the Kaliwa-Kanan-Agos River Basin in the village of Pagsanghan, General Nakar, Quezon and the village of Magsaysay, Infanta Quezon.

The PHP151 billion, 581-kilometer PNR long-haul project involves the construction of a standard-gauge railway from Calamba, Laguna to Bicol to ensure continues rail travel from Manila to Bicol that would connect  cities, international seaports, and economic zones.

Tan said the projects need to undergo bidding first so that the proponents would know much they need to shell out for these infrastructure.

She said the government also needs to secure necessary approvals from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Monetary Board (MB), which is a requirement for any foreign loans by both the public and private sectors; the special authority from the President and forward obligation authority.

“So it really takes time and then after which we will negotiate the loan and make it effective,” she said.

Tan added that three interested parties for both the Chico River Project and the Kaliwa dam and have submitted their proposals. (PNA)