August 15, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Chinese ambassador to the country met in a formal meeting, said the agency on Sunday, officially restarting the negotiations on Chinese-funded transportation projects.
According to DOTr in a statement, Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista and Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian discussed the resumption of negotiations on several projects during their first meeting at the Chinese Embassy in Makati last Thursday, August 11.
“The two officials discussed the resumption of talks for the major China-funded railway projects such as the PNR South Long Haul Project (North-South Commuter Railway), Subic-Clark Railway, and Mindanao Railway (Tagum-Davao-Digos),” said the DOTr.
Apart from these projects, the two also discussed maritime cooperation projects, specifically the hotline communication and legal affairs cooperation arrangements between the Philippine Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard.
They also discussed a possible collaboration on Maritime Traffic Safety, Ferry Safety, and the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Maritime Search and Rescue, as well as the capacity building for maritime governance, safety supervision, and vessel safety inspection.
The DOTr said that the Chinese government’s funding support for these projects will serve to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance the partnership between the Philippines and China.
This came after the Chinese government withdrew the loan deals, following the end of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, with his successor President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. vowing to renegotiate these deals.
In all, the country under the Duterte administration had already borrowed from China a total of $1.1-billion.