DAVAO CITY -- Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua has vowed to push more grants to finance projects that the Philippines and the Republic of China would explore.
“I’m pushing for a new amount of additional grants to cover the projects that we have promised, and also some other projects to be presented by the Filipino side,” Zhao said Thursday on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Barangay Callawa Water System Project donated by the Chinese government.
The envoy acknowledged that the 500 million renminbi that President Rodrigo Duterte was able to secure during his visit to China last month is not enough to finance all of the administration’s infrastructure projects in Davao.
One of the big projects that the Chinese government has vowed to support is the 1.5-km. bridge connecting Davao City to the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) that is seen to boost tourism.
Zhao said he is pushing for the feasibility study and design that will be approved by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Investment Coordinating Committee.
“The Davao to Samal bridge will be financed by the Chinese soft loan. Experts from the two sides (Philippines and China) will make the assessment of how much it will cost. But the bridge is only 1.5 km. so it will not be that big,” he said.
The bridge, which could be built for a maximum of three years, is one of the projects that the two countries have agreed to support under a memorandum of understanding that they had signed.
Zhao said the Callawa water pumping station is a testimony to China’s sincere commitment to help the Philippines improve its people’s livelihood, alleviate poverty and achieve a balanced and sustainable growth.
“The China-Philippines relations are bound to ride winds and break waves, while the practical cooperation between our two countries will bear more fruits and bring more benefits to our peoples,” he said.
The Callawa water pumping project consists of a deep-water pumping well, water tower, power engine room and equipment, and a drinking water pipe network to households. The project, which will benefit 3,000 households, is expected to ease the lack of water in Callawa and neighboring areas.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio expressed her gratitude for the Chinese government’s generosity.
She said the strong relations of the Philippines and China would lead to more assistance for the city’s infrastructure development, livelihood improvement, environment management and urban-rural balanced growth. (PNA)
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