More Japan loan deals expected during first quarter

Font Size

Marikina River

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) said it expects to conclude more loan deals with Japan in the first quarter of 2019.

“The loan agreement for the NSCR (North-South Commuter Extension Project, Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase IV, and Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao, are expected to be signed in first quarter of 2019,” the DoF said in a statement on Monday.

The signing of the loan agreements of the three infrastructure projects follows the exchange of notes between the Philippine and Japanese governments in November.

When the projects are backed by loan financing, the contract awarding follows.

Loans from Tokyo are tied, meaning contractors to be selected are Japanese.

The NSCR Extension Project extends both ends of the Malolos-Tutuban line to Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga, and to Calamba, Laguna.

The Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase 4 meanwhile covers the final phase of the flood control project involving improvement works along the Upper Marikina River, from the downstream of the Manggahan Floodway to the Marikina Bridge, and includes the construction of the Marikina Control Gate Structure.

The Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao meanwhile involves the construction and improvement of the access roads to arterial roads which improves access to main cities in Mindanao.

Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Y.C. Joven told reporters on Friday that the DoF also expects to sign loan agreements with China for the Safe Philippines Project, and the Philippine National Railway (PNR) South Long Haul Project.

“Basically we’re timing the engagement with China for President Duterte’s visit to China in April. For Japan we’re timing it for…the Japanese high-level meeting which will be held in February in Japan,” he said.

Loan agreements signed between Japan and the Philippines cover the Mega Manila Subway; the Metro Rail Transit-Line 3 (MRT-3) Rehabilitation program; the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environmental Protection Project Phase 2; and the Arterial Road Bypass Phase 3 project.

Chinese funding covers the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam Project, the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge, the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, and drug rehabilitation facilities in Sarangani and Agusan del Sur, among others.

“We are fortunate to have the full support from our friends in the region. Both Japan and China have committed about $9 billion each in investments and official development assistance (ODA), while South Korea has pledged up to $1 billion in ODA. These commitments complement the support we are getting from multilateral development institutions,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III was quoted as saying.

“The magnitude of the ODA we are receiving should be credited to President Duterte’s rebalancing of our foreign policy,” he added. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan