Gov’t to review funding options for several major infra projects

The government will review funding proposals and options for several infrastructure projects previously intended to be financed by China.

“We will revisit and we will resubmit them to NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) just in case,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno told journalists after the post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Philippine economic briefing in Pasay City on Tuesday.

Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez earlier said the official development assistance loan deals for three major infrastructure projects have been considered “withdrawn” after the Chinese government failed to act on the previous administration’s funding request.

The financial deals are for engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning for the Subic-Clark Railway project, the design-build pact for the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long-Haul Project, and the management consultancy for the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP). 

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier informed the China Eximbank that the loan applications would be valid only until May 31, 2022, or a month before the end of the Duterte administration’s official term. 

Diokno said the government has other funding options for the said infrastructure projects, such as those from the Japanese government, World Bank (WB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). 

“These are nice projects. These have been evaluated by NEDA and (these are) socially-worthwhile projects so we will just look for funding,” he said.

Meanwhile, Diokno said the government will push for the implementation of other railway projects to boost the domestic economy’s recovery and growth potential. (PNA)