June 04, 2021 at 08:15 pm
Julito G. Rada
The French government is willing to fund the first urban cable car system in the country, which will also be the first in Asia, the Department of Finance said Friday.
The Finance Department said in a statement Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz met virtually recently to discuss several projects for possible funding by France, including the first urban cable car system in the Philippines that will serve as an environment-friendly means of mass transportation to help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Boccoz said France was keen to provide financing support through a “highly concessional loan” for the proposed cable car system.
Dominguez said the project was up for approval by the Investment Coordination Committee which he chairs.
The proposed $100-million (P4.8-billion) Manila Urban Car Cable Project of the Department of Transportation initially involves the construction of a cable-propelled mass transport system spanning about 4.5 kilometers along the Santolan-Eastwood-Pasig corridor.
The government of France extended a grant for the feasibility study on the project in 2018.
Dominguez and Boccoz also discussed the proposal to acquire 40 units of 24-meter fast patrol boats for the Philippine Coast Guard, along with two additional 84-meter offshore patrol vessels and two coastal patrol boats from French shipbuilder OCEA.
Boccoz confirmed to Dominguez that the French Treasury was eager to provide support for this acquisition of maritime vessels.
France earlier delivered to the Philippines an offshore patrol vessel christened the Gabriela Silang to the PCG in 2019 and four fast patrol boats in 2018.
Boccoz also expressed France’s interest in developing the Philippines’ shipbuilding industry during the meeting.
Dominguez, who is chairman-designate of the Climate Change Commission, also discussed with the French envoy the government’s plan of action to fight climate change, including the passage of legislation banning single-use plastics; opportunities for clean energy projects,