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NEDA Chief: Japan not China, Phl’s top source of foreign funding

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By Monsi A. Serrano

Despite the strong lobbying for China and preferential treatment given by the Duterte administration to his favorite ally, China, it is Japan, and not China that is the biggest source of foreign funding for our country.

Speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS, Japan’s loans and grants have a record of $5.98 billion which accounts for 41.20 percent of the country’s total official development assistance (ODA) portfolio, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Next to Japan second-biggest source of ODA of the Philippines is The World Bank with a total of $3.13 billion or 21.56 percent of the total, while the Asian Development Bank is third at $2.24 billion or 15.44 percent of the total.

The US is the fourth largest provider of ODA at $807 million, comprising 5.56 percent of the total. South Korea is fifth at $660 million or 4.55 percent of the total.

It is interesting to note that one of the projects financed by Japan is the first phase of the Metro Manila subway project, which covers the construction of a 25.3-kilometer subway.

It will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to FTI in Taguig City and also extended to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Both the Philippine and Japanese governments signed the P50-billion loan agreement for the Metro Manila subway project on March 16. The project is expected to break ground in January 2019. 

Japan’s railway system is dubbed the most efficient railway system in the world and has become the benchmark of other countries.

Other official development assistance (ODA) sources of the Philippines are the European Union, Italy, Spain, China, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, United Nations System, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia expressed gratitude to all the development partners who have constantly supported the Philippines in our endeavors to pursue much-needed reforms, for both social and physical infrastructures to reach our country’s goals.

“The government must take the lead in ensuring that these projects will create lasting change in the lives of Filipino people”, the State Planning Agency Chief said.

During THEPHILBIZNEWS interview with Philippine Ambassador to Japan His ExcellencyAmbassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Jose C. Laurel V in Tokyo last November 2018, the Philippine Ambassador pointed out the benefit of Japan’s friendly interest rate for loans being offered to the Philippines.

“Japan has been very generous to the Philippines giving just  0.25 to 0.75 percent interest in the loan we are getting from them. While China charges the loans with an interest rate of 2 to 3 percent. Just do your Math and we know who has the better offer to the Philippines,” Ambassador Laurel said.

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