MANILA, Philippines — China said it was still negotiating with the Philippines over funding for some infrastructure projects after reports that they were considered canceled surfaced over the weekend.
“Our two sides have negotiated technical issues and made incremental progress to move the projects forward,” the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement sent to reporters on Sunday.
Beijing also said it would “exploit its own advantage and support the Philippines to improve its infrastructure.”
China has so far helped the Philippines complete 17 of its infrastructure projects and more than 20 are still ongoing.
“China is open to technical discussions on our government-to-government plans and is ready to continue our cooperation, in close communication with the new Philippine administration.”
Information on canceled Chinese funding for three railway projects – the 50 billion peso Subic-Clark railway project, the 83 billion peso Mindanao railway phase 1 and the railways’ Bicol package 1 Philippine nationals of 142 billion pesos – surfaced over the weekend.
The Philippines’ request for funding from Beijing was dropped after former finance secretary Carlos Dominguez III noted that China wanted to charge a 3% interest rate.
Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez noted that the government asked China for a lower rate because of Japan’s more competitive offer at a 0.1% interest rate.
LILY: China wants 3% interest on loan for rail projects in Philippines
Instead of going through the same foreign funding route as former President Rodrigo Duterte, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. chose to seek only official development assistance programs and public-private partnerships for his projects. — Kaycee Valmonte with a report of The STAR / Elijah Felice Rosales