PHL ‘more cautious’ with Chinese loans: NEDA

The Philippines is cautious when in comes to getting loans from China, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said during the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) media briefing on June 27.

“Given the various experiences already felt by other countries that have dealt with China, we are even more cautious, we are extra careful in having projects funded by China,” Secretary Pernia said. “We don’t want that to happen to us, that we convert the loan to equity.”

Aside from China, the Philippines is getting loan packages from South Korea and Japan.

The Duterte administration is pushing for 75 high-impact infrastructure flagship projects with total investment requirement of PHP1.879 trillion. Of 75 projects, 35 have been approved by the NEDA Board.

According to NEDA, of 35 projects, 16 are estimated to be completed by 2022, while the remaining 19 will extend beyond 2022.

“Beyond NEDA Board approval, the projects will have to go through the remaining phases of the project cycle. We must keep the infrastructure momentum and make sure there are no delays,” Pernia said.

“Since the start of this administration, the NEDA Board has approved projects at a quicker pace while ascertaining their technical, financial, economic and social merits. We are determined to close the infrastructure gap, a crucial endeavor for us to achieve our long-term vision of a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay for all, which everyone deserves,” Pernia said.