PHL, Korea exchange documents on US$56.6-M KEXIM loan for Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project

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The Philippines and Korea on Wednesday exchanged their copies of the agreement for the US$56.6-million loan extended by the Export Import Bank of Korea-Economic Development and Cooperation Fund (KEXIM-EDCF) to finance the engineering services for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project.

On behalf of their respective governments, Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and KEXIM-EDCF Executive Director Tae-Soo Kim received from each other their copies of the loan accord that was signed last month.

Also at the ceremony held this morning at the Department of Finance (DOF) office in Manila were Acting Secretary Roger Mercado of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Korea Ambassador to the Philippines Inchul Kim and KEXIM-EDCF Country Director Jae-Jeong Moon.

To be implemented by the DPWH, the interisland bridges project involves the construction of two sea-crossing, four-lane bridges spanning 32.47-kilometers (km) combined—including connecting roads and interchanges—that will connect the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros in Western Visayas.

This Project is among the big-ticket items under President Duterte’s signature infrastructure modernization program “Build, Build, Build.”

KEXIM-EDCF’s loan for the engineering services of the project, which includes the preliminary design, detailed engineering design and procurement assistance, will support the Philippine government in preparing and completing the necessary activities and works prior to the construction of the two bridges.

This zero-interest loan with a 0.1 percent service charge per disbursement covers a maturity period of 40 years, inclusive of a 10-year grace period.

With a total estimated cost of P187.54 billion, the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project is expected to commence engineering services this year, and begin construction in 2025.