2 BIG INFRA PROJECTS TO REVIVE ECONOMY
Two big infrastructure projects are being fast tracked for the planned revival of the economy with a big boost from the Government of Japan which approved a record 154-billion-yen loan equivalent to P75.5 billion.
These are the Cebu-Mactan Fourth Bridge project aimed at decongesting the by-way to the airport and the Davao City Bypass Construction Project, a 44.5-kilometer roadway to allow for faster commute to major hubs in the burgeoning city commerce.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided the loan, which were fast tracked to speed up the planned revival of the economy via the Build Build Build projects.
These two infrastructure projects to be funded from the Japanese loan form part of the government program to reenergize the economy through construction activities that Acting Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III envisioned as a way out for the country’s economic malaise due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa signed the agreements last June 16 for the P57 billion (JPY119 billion) loan to support the construction of the Cebu-Mactan Fourth Bridge and the Coastal Road Construction project in the Visayas and the supplemental financing of P18.5 billion (JPY35 billion) for the Davao City Bypass Construction Project.
“We express our heartfelt gratitude to the people and the Government of Japan, represented today by the officials of JICA and of course, by His Excellency, the Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines, for their generosity and earnestness in supporting our infrastructure modernization program. Given the challenging circumstances, these projects bring more support to our economic recovery well beyond their nominal value,” Dominguez said after the signing of the loan agreements held at the Department of Finance (DOF) office in Manila.
The approvals of the loans for the two projects were fast-tracked through high-level consultations between the Philippines and Japan.
JICA Chief Representative Azukizawa pointed out that the loan agreements were signed even amid the global crisis triggered by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“In a broader sense, I hope that these projects will also contribute to the economic recovery of the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as we fully support your government’s pronouncement that restarting and accelerating the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program should be one of many strategies for reviving the Philippine economy,” Azukizawa said.
Also at the signing ceremony were Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
Secretary Dominguez underscored the importance of the signing of the two loan agreements for the bridge and bypass road projects as investments in infrastructure provide the highest multiplier effects to power the rapid recovery of the economy in the near term.
Both projects are expected to revitalize the economy and create more jobs in the Visayas and Mindanao as the country firms up its recovery starting next year from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The loans for these projects both carry highly concessional lending terms of 0.10 percent (a tenth of a percent) interest rate per year for non-consulting services and 0.01 percent (a hundredth of a percent) for consulting services, with a maturity period of 40 years inclusive of a 12-year grace period.