A major state-run Chinese construction company has proposed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. the construction of a 270-km highway in North Luzon, Malacañang announced on Monday.
Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the project is among the commitments expressed by officials of the China Communications Construction Co. Ltd or CCCC during their courtesy call on the President earlier that day.
CCCC committed more investments to the Philippines particularly through public-private partnership following the President’s state visit to China on the first week of January.
The CCCC proposed to construct the Laoag City-Rosario City Highway Project and introduce China’s Juncao technology to the Philippines.
Also proposed are the construction of Juncao Technology Demonstration Center and a Juncao Industrial Park for Juncao grass cultivation and processing.
The Presidential Communications Office said Juncao is “a hybrid of the Giant Napier Grass developed by the Fujian Agriculture and Forest University from eight different grasses through tissue culture.”
The proposed Juncao technology project, once approved, will be funded through Chinese foreign aid.
Aside from this proposal, the CCCC officials provided the President an update on its ongoing infrastructure projects in the Philippines, including the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project and North & South Harbor Bridge, among others.
The CCCC is a Chinese state-owned enterprise mainly engaged in transportation infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and railways.
Currently, it has more than 60 wholly owned subsidiaries and operates in more than 150 countries and regions.
The President said the central part of his government’s economic policy is the establishment, endorsement, and promotion of PPPs, in which the CCCC can participate.
“It can be of any nature — commercial venture or joint venture with a local partner. Of course, the PPP, where you have partnership with government, even G2G — government-to-government arrangements — are also something that we have been doing for a long time and again that we wish to do further,” Marcos said.
He added that the Philippine government also relaxed the rules to allow foreign contractors to bring in their own professionals with the aim of encouraging technology transfer.
Aside from Chinese officials, members of the US-Philippines Society also paid a courtesy call on the Philippine leader.
During their meeting, the President underscored the importance of forging strong ties with the country’s friends and partners in the United States, Southeast Asia, and the entire Asia Pacific in the midst of current geopolitical challenges.
He lamented that the world becomes so much more complicated with the heated rivalry among powerful nations, pointing to the effects and shocks brought about by the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The chief executive also cited the situation in the South China Sea, which he described as “worrisome.”
“And that is when we once again look to our friends and partners in the United States to be our treaty partner, and of course, our neighbors in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and the entire Asia Pacific extending up to the Indo Pacific,” he said.
“So these partnerships have become as important as they have ever been in our entire joint history. And that is why I am very happy to see that the US-Philippines Society is so active,” he added.
The US-Philippines Society is a private sector initiative organized to broaden and expand interaction and understanding through basic research and/or applied research in the areas of security, trade, investments, tourism, the environment, history, education, and culture between the United States and the Philippines.
A non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization, its mission is to build on the rich and longstanding historical ties between the two nations.
In a related development, the PCO announced the latest appointments in the Marcos administration: eight new members of the Marawi Compensation Board.
Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin led the oath-taking of these new members of the Marawi Compensation Board: Dalomabi Lao Bula, Mustapha C. Dimaampao, Moslemen T. Macarambon Sr., Nasser Macapado Tabao, and Mabandes Sumndad Diron Jr.
Also appointed to the Marawi Compensation Board are Jamaica Lamping Dimaporo, Sittie Aliyyah Lomondot Adiong, and Romaisa Lomantong Mamutuk.
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