As the Philippines under President Duterte strengthened ties with its neighbors, it had secured $1.26 billion in funding commitments from Japan last year mainly for infrastructure projects, the Department of Finance said yesterday.
The grants and soft loans pledged by the Japanese government in 2017 formed part of the 1 trillion yen (about $8.8 billion) in investments and official development assistance earlier committed by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the DOF said in statement.
In October last year, 18 letters of intent were signed by 20 Japanese firms for $6 billion in new investments in the following sectors: agribusiness, business process management, information and communication technology, infrastructure, iron and steel, manufacturing, mineral processing, power, renewable energy, retail, shipbuilding, and transportation.
On the sidelines of the 31st Asean Summit in November, Abe and President Duterte witnessed the signing of several deals worth 132.33 billion yen ($1.18 billion).
One of the deals signed was the exchange of notes for a 104.5-billion yen (about $929.1 million) loan representing the initial tranche of a loan for the first phase of the Metro Manila subway project that would link Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Also, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency chief representative to the Philippines Susumu Ito signed a 15.93-billion yen (about $142-million) loan deal for the Cavite industrial area flood risk management project.
The Philippines and Japan also signed a 9.399-billion yen ($89 million) loan for the third phase of the arterial road bypass project in Bulacan and the 2.5-billion yen (about $22.2-million) grant for the nonproject grant aid for the economic and social development program, which the DOF said would benefit the Philippine Coast Guard’s antiterrorism efforts and the rehabilitation program for Marawi City.”
Dominguez said the President’s pivot toward Asia led to various funding and investment opportunities for the Philippines in 2017. —BEN O. DE VERA
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