PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte raised a record-breaking, all time-high amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the Philippines at close to P1-trillion just seven months of his administration.
Finance Secretary Carlos P. Dominguez, in his speech on Saturday night, January 14 during the 49th Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) Annual Installation of Officers and Board of Trustees at the Marco Polo Hotel-Davao announced that Duterte managed to achieve this “through his astute diplomatic skills.”
Historically, Duterte is the only President in the country to have raised such staggering amount in a short period of time, seven months for that.
In a press briefing after the DCCCII event, Dominguez told reporters the total ODA covers only the foreign assistance from two of the world’s giants – China and Japan.
China amounting to USD 9-billion and Japan’s offer of USD 9-billion (JPY 1-trillion).
“These are voluntary offers from China and Japan and not requests from the Philippine government,” Dominguez said.
He added that there are more indicative ODA from various other countries and expecting more to come for the coming months.
Trade and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez, in a separate interview last Friday at the sidelines of Philippines-Japan Business Forum at Waterfront Insular Hotel that this milestones is a welcome development for the Duterte administration.
"It is a good implication that there is this very strong support (foreign) of this administration on all our development efforts," Lopez said.
Dominguez added: “Maybe they see that the money will be truly used for people. I think they see a lot of potential in the Philippine economy.”
ODA, as defined, is a financial aid given by government and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social, and political development of developing countries with low interest rates and payable within long term.
Dominguez also said that on Monday they are going to start lining up projects to be funded by ODA and also discuss in details the terms of the assistance offered by Japan.
Moreover, Dominguez said they already submitted a list of projects to China last November 29, 2016.
“Our team is set to travel to China sometime this month to discuss how to progress the list of projects recently,” Dominguez added.
Projects to be undertaken by the ODA assistance of China are the rehabilitation of the Agus River project, the irrigation projects in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, a seaport in Cebu among others.