Economy


DoF to sound out AIIB on greater project funding




Posted on June 12, 2017


FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that he will raise the matter of greater participation by the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) during its annual meeting in South Korea this week, noting that the bank has chosen to only engage in partial financing for its projects.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said previously that the government will pitch the North-South Railway Project (NSRP) South Line projects to the AIIB for financing, mixed with Official Development Assistance funds. -- BW FILE PHOTO
“My job is to see what their plans are for the future because right now the AIIB (is participating in projects on a) co-financing basis only. What are their future plans for developing their own capacity?,” Mr. Dominguez told reporters after the Development Budget Coordination Committee meeting in Manila last Friday.

The 58-member AIIB will hold its second annual meeting on June 16-18 on Jeju Island, South Korea.

The Beijing-backed lender committed to co-fund the P23.46 billion Metro Manila flood control project -- which was initially approved by the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee to be solely funded by the World bank. It later agreed to have the AIIB take part in the project.

Mr. Dominguez said that the World Bank and AIIB will each finance half of the project.

The project is expected to improve the current system of pumping stations, with new stations to also be built. The implementing agencies are the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Metro Manila Development Authority.

It will also partly fund the P37.76-billion Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system with the Asian Development Bank.

The EDSA line of the BRT, to be implemented by the Department of Transportation, will run for 48.6 kilometers along EDSA from Monumento in Caloocan City to Diosdado Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City.

Mr. Dominguez added that he will look into possible conditions attached on the AIIB loans.

“Then I want to see how, what kind of conditions they will impose so that we will know whether their terms are acceptable to us as a borrower,” he said.

He said earlier the Finance department assesses foreign loans on how well they conform to government priorities.

“In general, whatever assistance we get, whether ODA (Official Development Assistance) or grants, it has to be according to our priorities. That’s the number one,” he said.

Mr. Dominguez recommended that the President reject a grant from the European Union worth $280 million, claiming it would interfere with the country’s internal affairs.

The Philippines became a founding member of the China-led bank on December 28 last year, and has a total subscription of $979.1 million, according to the AIIB website.

Mr. Dominguez said previously that the government will pitch the New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa-Dam Project and the North-South Railway Project (NSRP) South Line projects to the AIIB for financing, mixed with Official Development Assistance funds. -- Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan