The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippine delegation off to Tokyo for proposed infra financing

March 24, 2017

A Cabinet-level delegation led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III will fly to Tokyo next week to discuss with Japanese officials a prospective list of big infrastructure projects that the Philippines could implement with Japan, the finance department said in a statement Friday.

The March 27-28 session, first under the Joint Committee on Philippines-Japan Infrastructure and Economic Cooperation, follows the official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan last year and the reciprocal visit made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Philippines in January.

In Abe’s visit to Duterte’s  home city of Davao two months ago, the prime minister committed a total of one trillion yen in official development assistance and investments to the Philippines within the next five years.

A formal invitation to the Joint Committee meeting was  sent to Dominguez  by Dr. Hiroto Izumi, the special advisor to Abe.

Izumi has asked Dominguez to co-chair the Joint Committee with him.

The Philippine delegation also includes Senator Alan Peter Cayetano;  Secretaries Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management, Alfonso Cusi of the Department of Energy and Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority.

Joining this group are Vivencio Dizon, president and chief executive officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority; Undersecretary Cesar  Chavez of the Department of Transportation; and Charge d'Affaires Eduardo Martin Meñez of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo.

The Dominguez-led delegation is expected to present the Philippines’ medium term development plan and update Japanese officials on the country’s macroeconomic situation during the Joint Committee meeting.

This team is expected to discuss a potential list of Philippine infrastructure projects for possible Japanese financing with high-ranking officials of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Ministries of  Foreign Affairs;  Health, Labor and Welfare; Finance; Economy, Trade and Industry; Internal Affairs and Communications; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Land Infrastructure and Transport.

Set for discussion during the meeting are possible cooperation agreements between the two countries  in the areas of  infrastructure; energy; support for Mindanao; public safety, which includes counterterrorism and the anti-illegal drugs campaign; environment and agriculture; disaster prevention; information technology; and human resource development. DMS