SPAIN is interested in investing in Philippine projects on energy, infrastructure, and telecommunications, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
The department said Spain Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Ignacio Ybanez Rubio relayed this during his group's recent meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
Ybanez said that Spain would want to be more engaged in Asia and stressed that “this is a very clear determination from the government as a whole and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry Commerce.”
The members of the delegation said they understood “very deeply” the Philippines’ concerns. “You can count on us on whatever you need,” Ybanez said.
They said Spain is “more than ready to cooperate with the Philippines” on the implementation of its big-ticket infrastructure projects, particularly in building railways and in the areas of transportation, energy and telecommunications.
The members of the delegation also informed Dominguez of Spain’s “great interest” in President Rodrigo Duterte’s programs, particularly his war against illegal drugs.
“We listened very well on why he is doing that and how important it is to really combat drugs,” Ybanez said.
The Spanish delegation also expressed its support for the Philippines’ peace process with insurgent groups and the Duterte administration’s plan to promote regional autonomy.
Dominguez, in turn, explained to this visiting group the Duterte administration’s primary thrust in its 10-point socioeconomic agenda, which is the accelerated spending on infrastructure, human capital development and social protection in order to sustain high and inclusive growth.
He also informed the delegation that the three main goals of the Duterte administration are reducing poverty, promoting a law-abiding society, which includes winning the war against illegal drugs, and developing a country that is at peace with itself and with its neighbors.
Dominguez said that to bring the benefits of high economic growth to areas outside Metro Manila, the government must dramatically increase its spending on power, agricultural productivity, roads, airports and connectivity, which amounts to infrastructure investments of $180 billion over the next six years.
“The government is also allocating a huge amount of money to education and other social services,” Dominguez said.
As of April this year, data from the National Economic and Development Authority show that on-going Spanish Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines amounted to $29.93 million. (SDR/Sunnex)