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Philippines eyes 10 loan agreements with China during Xi Jinping’s visit

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President Rodrigo R. Duterte and People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping pose for a photo following a bilateral meeting at the Boao State Guesthouse on April 10, 2018. — ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

THE GOVERNMENT expects to ink about 10 loan agreements for infrastructure projects with China during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit here in November.

“Some have already started, the rest they are reserving it for November when President Xi Jinping comes here. That was the plan,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in a media briefing on Wednesday, Aug. 29.

When asked how many loans does the government expects to be sealed by then, Mr. Diokno said there are “at least 10” loan agreements “from the two baskets” of projects that will be signed between the Philippines and China.

The first basket of projects include the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project, the Philippine National Railways’ South Long Haul Project, and the Davao-Samal Bridge Construction Project, as well as other projects funded by grants.

The second basket meanwhile contains the Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River Flood Control Projects, Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway Bridges Construction Project, Subic-Clark Railway Project, Safe Philippines Project Phase 1, and the Rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi Hydroelectric Power Plants Project.

In 2016, Mr. Duterte has secured a $9-billion official development assistance from China after his foreign policy shifted away from traditional partners such as the US and the European Union, which have been critical of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan





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