China ‘slow’ to provide loans for Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ — Pernia
By: Ben O. de Vera - Reporter / @bendeveraINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 10:22 AM February 03, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Japan is beating China in providing financial assistance to the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program as Beijing itself had been slow while Manila carefully looks into potential deals, the country’s chief economist said.

“They [the Chinese government] are the ones slow, the processes from their part,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said Friday when asked why Chinese financing for big-ticket infrastructure projects were not coming in as fast as they should.

Pernia, who heads the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said it would help if the Chinese side pushes through with their proposal to regularly conduct meetings with Philippine officials to fast-track infrastructure partnership.

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In contrast, the Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation since 2017 already held nine meetings to date, with another one scheduled in Bohol during the first half of 2020.

Another reason mentioned by Pernia that led to slow inflows of official development assistance (ODA) coming from China was the Philippines’ own doing—“we have been very cautious and strict in scrutinizing” potential loan agreements and their implementation contracts.

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