PH pulls out loan deal with China for Mindanao Railway construction

PH pulls out loan deal with China for Mindanao Railway construction
Photo from DOTr

THE Philippine government is no longer interested in seeking the funding assistance of China for the construction of the Mindanao Railway, the Department of Finance (DOF) told the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

In a letter to Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian dated September 22, 2023, the DOF said the Philippines is “no longer inclined to pursue the Chinese ODA financing for the Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1 Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment.”

“Moving forward, we wish to inform you that the [Philippine government] remains open to holding project-related discussions and technical-level exchanges on any other pipeline projects under Chinese financing,” the letter read.

The reason for the withdrawal of the loan application was not mentioned in the letter.

The DOF said the Philippines is also looking into pulling out its partnership with China for the P142 billion Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul.

The Philippine government also entered a partnership with China for the P51 billion Subic-Clark Railway Project.

In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said they are now in talks with other possible partners in order for the Mindanao railway project to push through.

Bautista said among the options is to combine government resources with foreign and private funding to complete the capital needed to construct the railway.

The Mindanao Railway Project: Tagum-Davao-Digos, which is valued at P83 billion, is seen to reduce the travel time from Tagum City in Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from three and a half hours to an hour and a half once it starts operations. (SunStar Philippines)


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