The Philippines and Japan are expected to sign this month a $202.04-million loan agreement for the road network development project in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, the Finance Department said over the weekend.
High-level Filipino and Japanese officials will resume the discussions on the progress of Japan-funded infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program and other areas of economic cooperation between Manila and Tokyo when they meet this month at New Clark City in Tarlac province.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Economic Secretary Ernesto Pernia will chair the Philippine side while Dr. Hiroto Izumi is expected to lead the Japanese delegation on June 18.
The meeting will be the eighth session of the high-level joint committee since it was first convened in March 2017 as a part of the Duterte administration’s efforts to fast-track the rollout of 75 big-ticket projects.
Dominguez said nine other loan agreements with Japan were signed between October 2016 and January 2019 with a combined amount of 398.82 billion yen ($3.63 billion or P189.92 billion).
These projects include the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard (Phase II); Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation; Cavite Industrial Area Flood Risk Management Project; Arterial Road Bypass Project (Phase III) in Bulacan; and New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project (II).
Other projects are Metro Rail Transit Line 3 Rehabilitation Project; Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project (Phase IV); North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project (1st tranche of the loan); and Metro Manila Subway Project (Phase I) which is the single biggest venture under the “Build, Build, Build” program.
Japan remains the leading provider of official development assistance loans to the Philippines, totaling $6.13 billion (47.51 percent share of the total ODA loan) and the fifth largest provider of ODA grants amounting to $106.76 M (4.45 percent share of the total ODA grants) as of December 2018.