MANILA, Philippines – Six deals between Philippine and Chinese government entities were signed during the August to September visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China.
These 6 documents were signed during the bilateral meeting between Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, August 29, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
One of these deals is a loan agreement for a project management consultancy involving the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul Project, a big-ticket railway project that will connect Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Bicol.
The 639-kilometer railway is to be funded by a P175.3-billion loan from China.
The loan agreement signed on Thursday, however, covers the P14.4 billion to be paid to China Railway Design Corporation and Guanzhou Wanan (CRDC-WACC), the company chosen to undertake the feasibility study for the railway.
The awarding of the project management consultancy contract to CRDC was one of the deals made during Xi's state visit to the Philippines in November 2018.
The PNR South Long Haul Project is a high-impact infrastructure project seen to reduce travel time from Manila to Legazpi City to 6 hours, from 13 hours. It is expected to be completed in 2022, towards the end of the Duterte presidency.
Here are the titles of the 6 deals signed:
Duterte's trip to China, his 5th so far, comes as he faces mounting pressure to prove his bid for warmer ties with the Asian power has led to concrete economic benefits for the Philippines.
Malacañang said part of the purpose of the trip is to "fast-track" existing big-ticket Chinese projects in the Philippines. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.