China-funded Kaliwa dam, LGU surveillance projects seen making progress

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Kaliwa dam map

THE GOVERNMENT is readying the procurement of contractors for more China-funded projects this quarter, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

“We have a lot of projects in the pipeline… the next one will be the awarding of the contractor for the Kaliwa Dam [New Centennial Water Source project] that will supply water for the Metro Manila area,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Binondo-Intramuros and the Estrella-Pantaleon bridges granted by China.

“And there will be the Safe Philippines project — this is basically with the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) will be probably be bid out within the month… end of July or early August,” he added.

Several China-funded projects started gaining traction this year, after the grant and loan agreements for the two bridges as well as that for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project were signed in April.

Construction of the P4.37-billion Chico River project in northern Luzon began last month, and is contracted to China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd. CAMC is to install electric pumps, build pumping stations and irrigation canals, and other facilities.

The loan for the irrigation project bears an interest rate of 2% with a maturity period of 20 years, inclusive of a seven-year grace period.

The P12.2-billion Kaliwa Dam project, meanwhile, is an integrated dam in Rizal with a 600 million-liter per day (MLD) capacity, as well as a raw water conveyance tunnel with a 2,400 MLD capacity, which will help relieve the capital’s dependence on Angat dam.

The Safe Philippines project, costing P20.31 billion, involves the construction of 18 integrated operations and command centers with video surveillance systems and a remote backup data center to improve the capabilities of local government units in managing public security and safety.

Although the President has approved the Kaliwa Dam and Safe Philippines projects, the loan agreements between the Philippines and China have yet to be signed.

Also among projects being proposed for Chinese funding include the P57.6-billion Subic-Clark Railway, the P25.63-billion Davao City expressway, and the P27.16-billion Panay-Guimaras-Negros Inter-Island Bridge. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan