PH, China ties spur development

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Fruitful relations The warmer ties between the Philippines and China will bring significant benefit to the country, particularly in achieving the goals of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, according to Public Works Secretary Mark Villar. ROY PELOVELLO

Filipinos will benefit from the close ties between the Philippines and China, particularly in the area of infrastructure development, according to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.

Villar said he is convinced the partnership between the two nations will help improve public transportation in the Philippines.

“The cooperation between the Philippines and China is important because Filipinos will benefit from it,” the public works chief said Thursday in a radio interview.

He noted that the DPWH and China’s Ministry of Commerce signed two agreements, including the “Implementation Agreement of the Feasibility Study of Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridge Project” and the “Implementation Agreement of the Feasibility Study of Davao City Expressway Project” during the two-day visit of President Xi Jinping of China to the country last week.

Villar said the feasibility studies on the two infrastructure projects have already started and actual construction is expected to commence in 2019.

He also acknowledged China’s vast experience in terms of infrastructure and its commitment in sharing technologies and providing funds needed to help the Philippines.

“The Philippines and China cooperation involves big-ticket infrastructure projects so a thorough assessment is needed before construction. Naturally, it will take a long time for the constructions to be completed and so we must have some patience,” Villar said.

A total of 29 deals were signed between the Philippines and China on Tuesday signed 29 deals during the state visit of President Xi Jinping, highlighting the growing cooperation between the two countries under President Rodrigo Duterte.

Among the deals signed involves cooperation on oil and gas development which is expected to serve as basis for an arrangement on how the two countries could mutually benefit from the resources in the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.

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