P55.2B ODA from China in the pipeline

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    Three project loans and one grant with the total value at $1.149 billion or P55.2 billion under China’s official development assistance for the Philippines are in the pipeline this year.

    Mark Joven, undersecretary of the Department of Finance, said in a virtual forum yesterday the project loans in the pipeline have a combined value of $1.072 billion, while the remaining grant is valued at $77 million.

    Joven’s presentation showed the project loans include the $337-million Safe Philippines Project Phase 1 which is set for signing this quarter; the $530-million Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River Flood Control Projects, for signing either in the second or third quarter of 2021; and the $204-million Priority Bridges Crossing the Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway Bridges Construction Project, also to be signed on the second or third quarter of the year.

    “The government is processing the signing of another grant from the People’s Republic of China amounting to $77 million. This grant may also be utilized to support COVID-19 related activities and response measures, subject to mutual agreement by the two governments,” Joven said.

    With the forthcoming signing of the new grant, this now brings the total grant resources from the Chinese government (under the Duterte administration) to around $494 million,” he added.

    Joven’s presentation showed the ongoing project loans have a total of $493 million, while ongoing project grants have a value of $417 million.

    The project loans signed under the current administration include the $62-million Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the $211- million New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam Project and the $220- million Philippine National Railway South Long Haul Project-project management consultancy.

    Joven said since 2017, the government has concluded six bilateral grant agreements with the government of the People’s Republic of China, which aims to support the conduct of pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, provision of equipment and implementation of infrastructure and other agreed projects. Angela Celis