Philippines, China to sign 3 loan deals this year

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Manila and Beijing are set to sign this year three loan agreements which will cover the implementation of big-ticket infrastructure projects in the country, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

In an interview, Finance Assistant Secretary Maria Edita Tan said the Philippine and China are seeking to finalize within the year the financing deals for the P2.7 billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the P10.9 billion New Centennial Water Source- Kaliwa Dam Project and the P151.3 billion North to South Railway Project.

“For the Chico River, we are scheduled (to sign) tentatively in the second or third quarter. For the Kaliwa Dam, that would be sometime in the third to fourth quarter. For the South long haul, third to fourth quarter, as well,” Tan said.

Tan said the process for Chinese loans usually take longer as the projects would have to go through bidding first before the loan agreement could be concluded.

“The process is, they have to go through the bidding and then after which we would be able to identify how much is the loan. And then we have to go through our own process. We have to secure all the necessary approvals like the MB (Monetary Board), special authority from the President, forward obligation authority, and then after which we will negotiate the loan and make it effective,” the Tan said.

Earlier, the DOF said six Chinese firms have been identified by the government as potential bidders for the Chico River Irrigation and Kaliwa Dam projects.

These are the China Energy Engineering Co. Ltd, PowerChina Ltd, and the Consortium of Guangdong Foreign Construction Co. Ltd and Guangdong Yuantian Engineering Co. Ltd for the Kaliwa Dam project; and the China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd, China Geo-Engineering Corp., and Qingdao Municipal Construction Group Co. Ltd for the Chico River Irrigation System. 

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