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China pledges $7.34 B for Philippine infra

According to the DOF International Finance Group (IFG), the bulk or $7.19 billion of the amount came in the form of loans, which are intended to finance 10 big-ticket infrastructure projects. File

MANILA, Philippines — China has pledged an estimated $7.34 billion in loans and grants to the Philippines for the implementation of the government’s flagship infrastructure projects and other priority programs, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

According to the DOF International Finance Group (IFG), the bulk or $7.19 billion of the amount came in the form of loans, which are intended to finance 10 big-ticket infrastructure projects.

The remaining $148.22 million was offered as grants to assist in the construction of two bridges as well the government’s drug rehabilitation and Marawi reconstruction efforts.

The IFG said the $7.19 billion in loan is expected to finance 85 percent of the total cost of the 10 projects China has agreed to pay for.

Of the amount, $3.21 billion will finance the first basket of infrastructure projects Manila submitted to Beijing earlier for funding.

These include the $234.92-million Kaliwa-New Centennial Water Source in Quezon province, the $72.49-million Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in North Luzon, and the $2.91 billion Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Railway project.

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The remaining $3.98 billion loan represents the second batch of projects up for funding assistance from China.

“For the second basket of projects, the Philippines and China agreed to line up about $3.98 billion in loans that may include $947.64 million for the Subic-Clark Railway and $424.81 million for the Davao City Expressway,” the DOF said.

However, the IFG clarified the second basket of projects are still up for further discussion and approval processes. The agency said these are still undergoing feasibility studies.

According to the IFG, the agreements for several of the projects are set to be signed by Chinese and Philippine officials on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Summit today.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who represents Chinese President Xi Jinping, is expected to witness the signing of the bilateral agreements.

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