Philippines, Japan Exchange Notes on Infra Projects, Grants

MANILA – Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda exchanged diplomatic notes firming up Japanese support for two major Philippine infrastructure projects, as well as grant aid for agriculture development, higher education scholarships, and critically needed health equipment at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on June 8.

The Exchange of Notes covered the following:

* Cebu-Mactan Bridge (4th Bridge) and Coastal Road Construction Project: With an estimated total cost of 119.225 billion yen, it involves among others the construction of a 3.3-kilometer bridge with a 3.385-km. elevated viaduct of two lanes per direction, and a 4.9-km., four-lane coastal road with a 4.751- km. viaduct.

* Davao City Bypass Construction Project II: Costing 34.830 billion yen, the project represents the next phase in the construction of a 45.2-km. road, together with tunnels and other associated infrastructure, to divert traffic away from Davao City center.

* Non-Project Grant Aid for the Economic and Social Development Programme for the Department of Health: Japan is extending up to 2 billion yen in grant aid to provide five CT scan machines, five X-ray machines, one MRI system, ten hemodialysis machines, and four infectious disease surveillance sites. These equipment are seen to support the DOH’s response to COVID-19 and other health emergencies.

* Non-Project Grant Agreement on the Economic and Social Development Programme for the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA): Amounting to 800 million yen, the project is a follow-up to the 2001 grant aid farm mechanization program supported by the Sugar-Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund. It will fund, among others, 94 units each of tractors, harrows, wholestalk sugarcane planter, and munchers.

* Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship by Japanese Grant Aid for 2021: A long-standing Japan’s scholarship program, the project supports two-year Master's and Doctorate courses at prominent Japanese universities for young officials in the Philippine civil service seen as potentially assuming key leadership roles.

“The exchange of notes further cements Japan’s status as the Philippines’ top provider of ODA for the decades, and a vital partner in achieving the country’s development goals. In Tokyo last year, President Duterte called Japan the 'gold standard' for Philippine development cooperation with foreign partners,” the DFA said in a statement. - DFA PR