MANILA and Beijing on Thursday signed six accords covering infrastructure and trade-related projects, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).
In a statement, DOF said the six agreements included four handover certificates for project and feasibility financing and two bilateral documents on infrastructure and trade.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua led and witnessed the signing and exchange of the bilateral documents, following the high-level meeting between the two countries to discuss the progress of their financing cooperation and development initiatives.
“We welcome this high-level engagement, as we underscore the importance of assessing where we stand, while providing added impetus in our efforts to achieve our objectives and deliverables,” Dominguez said at the start of the meeting at the Ayuntamiento de Manila headquarters of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) in Intramuros, Manila.
The handover certificates that were exchanged covered these cooperation agreements:
1. Feasibility study for the Davao City Expressway Project
The project will be conducted by CCCC Highway Consultants Co. Ltd., and funded by grant financing from the Chinese government. The signing and exchange of documents were done by Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Chinese Vice Commerce Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen.
2. Feasibility study for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridge Project
The feasibility study was conducted by CCCC Highway Consultants Co. Ltd., and funded by a grant from the Chinese government. Villar and Wang signed and exchanged the documents.
3. Philippine Radio Equipment Project
China donated broadcasting equipment to the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS) of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). The donation includes live broadcast room equipment, FM broadcast transmitter equipment, and medium wave transmitter equipment. The signing and exchange was done between PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar and Wang.
4. China-Aid Container Testing Equipment
This covered the donation of four sets of Mobile Container/ Vehicle Inspection System and two sets of CT Scan Inspection System to the Bureau of Customs. The signing and exchange was done between BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero and Wang.
Two other bilateral documents were signed:
1. Implementation of the Marawi Sports Complex and Central Market Project
This will be part of the reconstruction for Marawi. The project, consisting of two components, has a total floor area of about 13,202 square meters. The 6,504 sqm-Sports Complex, can hold up to 1,000 people; the 7,148-sqm.-Central Market will include a functional area and equipment rooms. There was an exchange of letters between Villar and Deng Boqing, the vice chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (Cidca).
2. Protocol on Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Avocado from the Philippines to China
The protocol was formulated after the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), in coordination with the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), completed the risk assessment and on-site inspection for the Philippine market access of fresh has avocado for export to China. With China among the world’s largest consumer markets, the accord is expected to raise incomes and create more jobs in the farm sector. The agreement was signed and exchanged between Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Zou Zhiwu, the vice minister of GACC.
The two sides exchanged views on how to enhance trade relations and speed up implementation of Philippine infrastructure projects with funding support from China.
They also discussed the Philippines’s participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the upcoming Chinese International Import Expo in Shanghai in November.
Image credits: Roy Domingo