Fitch upgrades investment grade rating of the Philippines

UNTV News   •   December 12, 2017   •   3887

The credit ratings of the Philippines is upgraded from triple B minus (BBB-) to triple B (BBB)based on the latest report of Fitch Ratings.

Fitch Credit Ratings pertain to the opinion on the relative ability of an entity to meet financial commitments.

Based on the statement of the Fitch Ratings, the sentiment of investors remains strong because of continuous solid demand and foreign direct investments.

This indicates that the controversies that administrations anti-drug war is facing do not affect investor confidence.

Fitch is also expecting higher government spending under the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the administration.

Also, Fitch forecasts GDP growth of 6.8% in 2018 and 2019 which will maintain the Philippines among the fastest-growing economies in Asia-Pacific Region.

Malacañang welcomed the Fitch findings.

Based on the statement of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, this affirms that the Duterte Administration is in the right direction of implementing its anti-crime and corruption programs to maintain law and order as well as implementing the economic policies of the government. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

PH secures P75-B loan from Japan for Davao, Cebu infrastructure projects

Robie de Guzman   •   June 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Japan have signed two loan agreements worth P75.5 billion for two big projects in the Visayas and Mindanao under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced on Tuesday.

Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa signed the loan deals worth 154 billion yen to fund the construction of the Cebu-Mactan Fourth Bridge and the Coastal Road Construction project in the Visayas, and the Davao City Bypass Construction Project.

The DOF said P57 billion of the loan will be used to support the Cebu-Mactan bridge and the coastal road construction project while the Davao City road project will get P18.5 billion.

The Duterte administration is counting on ramping up its infrastructure projects to create more jobs and boost the local economy which plummeted due to the coronavirus-induced global economic crisis.

The DOF said the loans carry a maturity period of 40 years with a 12-year grace period and have an annual interest rate of 0.10 percent for non-consulting services and 0.01 percent for consulting services.

The department said the Cebu-Mactan Fourth Bridge and the Coastal Road Construction project is the biggest infrastructure project in the Visayas under the “Build, Build, Build” program with a total estimated cost of P76.4 billion.

JICA has committed to fund 75 percent of the total cost of the project through Official Development Assistance (ODA) financing, while the remaining 25 percent or P18.82 billion will be covered by local financing.

Dominguez said the Cebu project aims to trim travel time and improve the capacity of the existing road network connecting Cebu and Mactan as it involves the construction of a 3.3-kilometer bridge with an elevated viaduct of 3.38 kilometers and a 4.9-kilometer four-lane coastal road with an elevated viaduct of 4.75 kilometers.

The Davao City Bypass Construction project, meanwhile, is expected to reduce congestion in Davao City and improve accessibility to its major development hubs through the construction of a 45.5-km, four-lane bypass road.

It also includes a 2.3-km main tunnel, which will utilize advanced Japanese technologies for its construction, and 0.5-km 4-lane cut-and-cover tunnel section running through the mountainous terrain in Barangay Magtuod, Davao City.

The project is expected to reduce travel time from Davao-Digos Intersection to Panabo City to just 49 minutes from the current one hour and 44 minutes.

The Cebu project is slated to start construction next year and is expected to be operational by 2029 while the Davao bypass road will break ground this year and will be completed by 2023.

Phl, Japan to sign $202-M loan agreement for Mindanao road network dev’t next week

Maris Federez   •   June 10, 2019

(File photo) President Rodrigo Duterte and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe begin their meet with a handshake at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on October 30, 2017.

The Philippines and Japan are expected to sign a $202.04-million infrastructure loan agreement on the sidelines of a high-level joint committee meeting between the two countries next week (June 18).

In its statement released on Sunday (June 9), the Department of Finance (DoF) said the deal will be focused on the Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao.

Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia will represent the Philippines, while Dr. Hiroto Izumi, special adviser to Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, will lead the Japanese delegation in their meeting in New Clark City, Pampanga.

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said the project involves the building, rehabilitation and improvement of the 178.43-kilometer road network in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and neighboring regions.

The DoF also said that in the said June 18 meeting, Philippine and Japanese officials are expected to resume discussions on the progress of Japan-funded infrastructure projects under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

They are also expected to deliberate on the other areas of the economic cooperation between Manila and Tokyo.

The meeting which will be held at New Clark City in Pampanga would be the eighth held by the high-level joint committee since it was first convened in March 2017.

The Finance Department said nine other loan agreements with Japan were signed between October 2016 and January 2019 with a combined amount of 398.82 billion yen (or about P189.92 billion). These include the following:

  1. Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard (Phase II)
  2. Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation (HARVEST)
  3. Cavite Industrial Area Flood Risk Management Project
  4. Arterial Road Bypass Project (Phase III) in Bulacan
  5. New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project (II)
  6. Metro Rail Transit Line 3 Rehabilitation Project
  7. Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project (Phase IV)
  8. North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project (1st tranche)
  9. Metro Manila Subway Project (Phase I)

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Malacañang assures transparency in PH infra deals with China

Robie de Guzman   •   March 19, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping of People’s Republic of China pose for a photo prior to their expanded bilateral meeting at the Malacañan Palace on November 20, 2018. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has assured that it is ready to disclose the Philippines’ infrastructure agreements with Chinese firms to promote transparency in the bureaucracy.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the assurance on Monday (March 18) as the Duterte Economic Team heads to Beijing, China this week to tackle the Philippine government’s infrastructure projects.

“Well, that’s pursuant to transparency, yes. Why not?” Panelo said at a press briefing in Malacañang.

In a statement released on Monday (March 18), the Department of Finance announced the trip to Beijing to meet with Chinese Counterparts to discuss possible infrastructure cooperation with China for projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will lead the delegation.

The Philippine Officials are set to meet with top officials of China’s Ministry of Commerce and Vice President Wang Qishan on Tuesday (March 19) to firm up possible new cooperation deals.

“Other members of the Philippine delegation are scheduled to meet separately with officials of the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) and the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), the office in charge of reviewing and implementing Beijing’s foreign aid projects,” the DOF added in a statement.

A Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) will also be held in Beijing on
Wednesday (March 20) “to showcase to potential investors the vast opportunities available to them in the Philippines as it emerges as an economic powerhouse in the region.”

The Duterte government is reportedly planning to spend P8 trillion for its infrastructure projects. At least one-third of these proposed projects will be financed by China, including the Chico River Irrigation Project, which has been hit for its one-sided loan agreement in favor of China.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad has earlier cautioned the Philippines against borrowing huge sums of money from China.

“If you borrow huge sums from China and you cannot pay—you know when a person is a borrower, he is under the control of the lender,” Mahathir said.

United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo also warned other nations in 2018 about the potential dangers of accepting Chinese investments as Beijing expands its development projects to increasingly distant corners of the world.

“When China comes calling, it’s not always to the good of your citizens,” Pompeo said at a press briefing in Mexico City after a meeting with Panamian President Juan Carlos Varela in October 2018.

Pompeo’s remarks came as Washington’s own investment agency is actively competing with China to finance infrastructure projects, particularly in Panama.

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima also called on the Duterte administration to heed warnings from Malaysia and the United States against accepting loans from China.

“This is not the first time that top leaders or experts cautioned us about our dealings with China that could unfavorably affect our country’s future, both in the aspects of financial and territorial security. We need to learn from the unfortunate fate of others who borrowed before us,” de Lima said in a statement.

Despite criticisms and appeal against the move to take out foreign loan deals, Malacañang has repeatedly assured that the country will not fall into a debt trap with China. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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