DOF chief pitches PH infra, IT projects to South Korea
MANILA – Finance secretary Carlos Dominguez III has sought South Korea’s funding support and expertise in implementing the Philippines’ big-ticket infrastructure and information technology (IT) projects, in line with the Duterte administration’s goal of modernizing the country’s logistics backbone and preparing the economy for the impact of rapid technological innovations.
During his recent meeting with Korean Ambassador Han Dong-Man, Dominguez expressed hope that at least six Philippine projects in the pipeline would receive financing support from the Export-Import Bank of Korea-Economic Development Cooperation Fund (KEXIM-EDCF), under the Framework Arrangement formalized between the two countries last May 4.
Under the arrangement, the Philippines can access Korea’s loan facility up to an amount not exceeding USD1 billion over a five-year period until 2022.
Among the projects proposed by the Philippines under the Framework Arrangement is the New Cebu International Container Port Project, which has an estimated loan amount of USD172.64 million.
Domingez told the envoy that he hopes the loan agreement for the Cebu project would be signed on the first week of June.
Duterte, accompanied by a delegation that includes Dominguez, is set to visit South Korea on June 3-5 for a summit with President Moon Jae-in.
A project preparation facility of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), which includes the Asbang Small Reservoir Irrigation Project in Davao del Sur; the development of a new airport in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental; and the implementation of an electronic receipt and invoice system and electronic sales reporting system are among the projects that the Philippines plans to present to Korea for funding support, Dominguez said during the meeting with Han.
On behalf of the Philippine government, the finance chief also thanked Korea for its support in constructing the Panguil Bay Bridge, which will connect Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte. The 3.4-km. bridge is among the 75 flagship infrastructure projects of the Duterte administration.
“Thank you for all the assistance you have provided us,” he told the Korean ambassador. “Panguil Bay Bridge is coming along and you have funded a lot of projects. I want to assure you that we will not waste your taxpayers’ money. We will make sure that it will benefit the Filipino people,” he added.
During the meeting, Han said he has encouraged Korean businesses to “invest, invest and invest here” in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, where there are “more opportunities.”/PN