Economic team to visit Tokyo ahead of November signings for Japan-ODA funded infra projects

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Economic managers
Philippines' economic officials speak before an investor community at an Aug. 15 international road show, themed ‘The Rising Philippine Economy: Powering Gains with Global Partners Through Shared Goals’, held at Mandarin Oriental Singapore hotel in this photo provided by the government’s Investor Relations Office. -- PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS

THE GOVERNMENT’S economic and infrastructure team will be visiting Tokyo this month to review the progress of infrastructure projects to be funded by the Japanese government and promote investment.

The Department of Finance (DoF) said yesterday that a Cabinet-level delegation will fly to Japan on Sept. 25-26, to conduct the third Philippines-Japan High-Level Committee on Infrastructure and Economic Cooperation.

“We want to discuss with them how we can fast-track the process of implementing the projects,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III was quoted in a statement as saying.

Projects up for Japanese financing are valued at P315.4 billion. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged $9 billion worth of official development assistance (ODA) during his visit to the Philippines in January.

These include the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Phase II, the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase I, the Malolos-Clark Railway Project, the Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project, the Dalton Pass East Alignment Alternative Road Project, the Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao, the Circumferential Road 3 Missing Link Project, and the Pasig Marikina Channel Improvement Project (Phase IV).

The meetings will finalize funding and implementation arrangements, ahead of Prime Minister Abe’s visit here for the projects’ signing ceremonies on the sidelines of the Nov. 10-14 Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.

Joining Mr. Dominguez are Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno,  Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar; Bases Conversion and Development Authority President Vivencio B. Dizon; and Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea.

They will be meeting with a Japanese delegation headed by Hiroto Izumi, a special advisor to Mr. Abe, along with other officials from the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Economy and Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency  and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

The teams previously met on July 7 in Manila. A similar meeting was conducted with the Chinese over the weekend with the same goal of expediting the implementation of projects.

While in Tokyo, the Philippine delegation will also hold a briefing on the Philippine economy with potential Japanese investors, the DoF said.

“In the economic roadshow, Mr. Dominguez is expected to tell investors about the Duterte administration’s plans to sustain the economy’s growth rate at 7% or higher over the medium term,” the DoF said. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan