DOTr to resume China-backed projects via foreign aid, private sector

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is looking to continue former China-backed railway projects through official development assistance (ODA) from South Korea, Japan, India, as well as through partnerships with the private sector. During a forum of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) on Monday, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said funding agreements for three China-backed projects were not completed under the Duterte administration with no progress since. These projects are the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP), the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul, and the Subic-Clark Railway. 'We're working with some other countries. ODAs, we're exploring these but we can't give any details yet,' Bautista said. On top of ODAs, partners from the private sector are being sought and may serve as contractors similar to the ongoing North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and Metro Manila Subway. Bautisa said these projects may also be funded by the government through the General Appropriations Act (GAA). Earlier, Bautista announced that the country has withdrawn its plan to seek an ODA loan from China-first the MRP and later followed by the PNR South Long Haul and the Subic-Clark Railway project. In July 2022, DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez said the Chinese government failed to act on the Duterte administration's request for loan financing for the three projects. The DOTr resubmitted loan applications for the three projects in September 2022 before it was eventually withdrawn.

Source: Philippines News Agency