Japan extends P612 billion assistance for Philippine development programs

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Japan has extended nearly 1.4 trillion yen or about P612 billion in financial support to the Philippines since 2017.

It has committed to sustain its funding assistance to complete projects under the flagship Build Build Build infrastructure program.

Mori Masafumi, special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, said Tokyo has exceeded its one trillion yen five-year funding commitment to Manila.

“I wish to report that Japan’s public and private financial contribution to the Philippines’ nation-building in the five years since January 2017 amounts to 1.38 trillion yen, well over the one trillion yen mark set forth. I would like to emphasize that the government of Japan’s commitment to the bilateral cooperation project remains unchanged under the Kishida Cabinet,” Mori said.

The Philippines and Japan convened their 12th meeting for the High Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation. The meeting discussed the status of all infrastructure projects in the country funded by Japan.

The meeting also looked into how the development partners can speed up the completion of the public works listed under the BBB program.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who headed the Philippine side, said the two camps managed to overcome the delays caused by the pandemic and unforeseen natural calamities.

“Between the first joint committee meeting in 2017 and today, much has been started, achieved, and will be further continued,” he said.

According to Dominguez, the Philippines and Japan tackled as well the proposed addition of at least 30 billion yen under the second COVID-19 Crisis Response Support Loan. The financing package will be used to pay for the country’s requirements for its vaccination program.

Dominguez said the Philippines and Japan commit to accelerating their efforts in filling up the country’s infrastructure backlog. He also pointed out that Japan will play a role in the government’s recovery measures geared toward bouncing back from the pandemic.

In 2017, the joint committee convened in Tokyo to negotiate how the two countries look to move forward in its partnerships on economic cooperation and infrastructure buildup.

Prior to the meeting, then-Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe committed to extend one trillion yen, or about $9 billion, in funding packages that would support programs and projects embarked on by the Duterte administration until 2022.

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