China grants Philippines P3.7 billion for various projects

People's Republic of China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi listens to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during a courtesy call on the President at the Malacañang Palace on January 16, 2021. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Philippines and China signed on Saturday an agreement on economic and technical cooperation with China providing the country a grant of 500 million renminbi (about $77.38 million or P3.72 billion).

The amount will be used by the Philippine government to support infrastructure projects and other development initiatives of the Duterte administration.

Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven of the International Finance Group (IFG) of the Department of Finance (DOF) signed the agreement on behalf of the Philippines, while Vice Chairman Deng Boqing of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) signed on behalf of the Chinese government.

The RMB500-million grant is intended to support livelihood projects, infrastructure facilities, feasibility studies for major projects and other projects to be mutually agreed upon by the parties.

“Subject to further discussions between our two governments and depending on the requirements, this may possibly include support for Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) related activities and response measures,” Joven said.

The signing of the latest agreement brings to RMB3.25 billion (about $496.97 million or nearly P23.85 billion) the total grants extended by Chinese government to the Philippines.

The agreements for the earlier grants aim to support the conduct of pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, provision of equipment, and implementation of infrastructure and other agreed projects.

Among the projects being supported or currently funded under these six grant agreements are the construction of bridges (along the Pasig-Marikina Rivers connecting Binondo-Intramuros, Estrella-Pantaleon; and along the Davao River [Bucana Bridge]); the reconstruction of Marawi City; and the procurement of container inspection equipment of the Bureau of Customs. CURRENTPH

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