Friday, March 30, 2012

50% of PHL ODA comes from Japan

BALAGTAS, Bulacan—Close to 50 percent of overseas development assistance (ODA) to the Philippines are coming from Japan, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said.

The disclosure came during the inauguration of an interchange here along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) which also opened the 6.87 kilometer Plaridel by-pass road.

Singson and other and some businessmen said continued flow of ODA to the country is a sign of confidence to the Aquino presidency.

“At least 44 percent of overseas development assistance that we are receiving are coming from Japan,” said Singson noting that it will be spent for more infrastructures projects in the country like road, bridges and flood control projects.

He said that Japan is willing to fund more projects in the country  and insinuated that it’s a sign of continuing confidence to the current administration which introduced ‘wise spending’ of funds since 2010.

Singson said that Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has vowed to finance new infrastructure projects in the country through ODA.

This include the packages two to four of the 24.61 kilometers arterial road project in the province that will link the NLEX to the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway located in San Rafael town.  The 6.87 kilometer package one of the project has been completed and is now known as the Plaridel By-pass road.

Aside from the said project, Singson said disclosed that Jica is also ready to finance the proposed Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx) that will link the Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) in La Paz town in the province of Tarlac to Cabanatuan City in Neuva Ecija.

This was affirmed by Akio Yonezawa, the second secretary on economic affairs of the embassy of the Japan in the Philippines.

He said that aside from the CLLEx, the Japanese government though the Jica is also ready to finance the proposed alternate road project to Dalton pass in Nueva Vizacaya.

“Once the feasibility study and design is ready, we will be willing to finance it because we want to help the Philippines, Yonezawa said in an interview.

According to Siongson, Jica has earlier other road projects in Central Luzon including widening of the MacArthur Highway from Bulacan  to Tarlac, and the Gapan-Olongapo road that traverses the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales.

This developed, Antonio Tencgo and Rudy Calalang, both members of the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) hailed Jica’s assistance in Central Luzon.

They said that it will not only fasttrack development in rising urban centers in the region, but will spur economic growth in remote areas in the region.  (Dino Balabo)