Monday, 20 July 2009

Philippine Gov’t set to propose 136 infrastructure projects for P15-billion Japanese loan

BSSD
BusinessWorld
http://www.bworldonline.com/BW072009/content.php?id=057

THE GOVERNMENT has identified 136 infrastructure projects to be proposed for funding by a P15-billion official development assistance (ODA) package from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) President and Chief Executive Officer Reynaldo G. David said that the loan package, signed in Japan during President Gloria M. Arroyo’s visit last month, is intended for the so-called logistics infrastructure development project to be executed by the DBP.

“To be funded are critical infrastructure projects such as ports and farm-to-market roads,” he told reporters in Malacañang last week.

He said the $308-million loan, or about P15.4 billion, should be utilized efficiently so the Philippines can secure additional loans from JICA.

The logistics infrastructure development project is an investment financing facility that can be accessed by private corporations, government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units mainly to finance infrastructure and support systems for the so-called Strong Republic Nautical Highway program, particularly access/toll roads, bulk grains highways, and cold chain facility network.

The loan program, to be implemented from 2009-2014, has a maturity of 30 years, inclusive of a 10-year grace period at 1.4% interest per annum.

It is part of a $456-million ODA package from JICA that is expected to help raise at least 53,000 new jobs for Filipinos.

The other program under the same package, worth $148 million, will be used to fund the agricultural credit support project to be executed by the Land Bank of the Philippines, the Palace had earlier announced. This project will make available short, medium and long-term funds to address the credit needs of agribusiness players.

It is expected to benefit 43,000 farmers and fishers, 220 small and medium enterprises and 30 large agribusinesses during the first five years of implementation.

It would also help finance some 43,250 sub-projects and create about 53,230 new jobs.

The government earlier said the new ODA loan packages were sourced come from a multi-billion-dollar facility that Japan has committed to provide developing Asian countries amid the global financial crisis.

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