The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) hosted Thursday, November 8, 2018 the ninth meeting of China Projects Task Force, the interagency task force closely monitoring and facilitating the preparation and implementation of Philippines’ flagship projects proposed for China’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) financing.
On behalf of DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain of DPWH Unified Project Management Office Operations and Technical Services expressed his appreciation for those present in the meeting specially Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio B. Dizon, and the representatives from Department of Foreign Affairs, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Transportation, Department of Environment and Natural Resourses, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health Office of the Solicitor General, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, National Power Corporation, Bureau of Customs, Philippine National Railways, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), and among others.
The meeting discussed project updates, timelines and concerns, and the bilateral economic documents between Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China expected to be signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping when latter visit Manila this November.
During the meeting which was also attended by DPWH UPMO Project Directors Virgilio Castillo, Patrick Gatan and Gil Villanueva, Undersecretary Sadain gave updates on the progress of the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge project which is financed under China Grant-aid in the amount of P4.243 Billion and is planned for completion by January 2021.
To swiftly address challenges and concerns on the implementation of Binondo-Intramuros Bridge, Undersecretary Sadain reported that the DPWH is closely coordinating with MERALCO for the electrical facilities affected by the bridge construction project as well as with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines inasmuch as the project is located in the historical environment of Intramuros.
With China supporting President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program through loans and grants, DPWH has three (3) new other projects included in the 24 documents to be signed during President Xi’s visit: Implementation of Agreement of the Feasibility Study of Davao City Expressway; Implementation Agreement for the Feasibility Study of Panay – Guimaras – Negros Island Bridges; and Exchange of Letters for the Implementation of the Davao River Bridge (Bucana) Project.
Undersecretary Sadain said he looks forward for continuing cooperation and stronger engagement of various agencies under China Projects Task Force to expedite the project approval and implementation process of development projects being implemented by the President Duterte administration in cooperation with China.