The Philippines has expressed its deep appreciation to the government of Japan for its commitment to provide technical assistance in crafting a master plan for the regional development of the Subic Bay Freeport and its surrounding areas.
In a statement, the Department of Finance (DOF) said the commitment was conveyed to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their bilateral meeting on Monday (Nov. 4) held on the sidelines of the 35thAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Summits in Bangkok, Thailand.
“The two leaders affirmed that the Japanese assistance is a testament to the deepening strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines,” the DOF said.
According to the DOF, the proposed master plan will outline possible projects in Subic Bay and its surrounding areas in the fields of road network development, logistics terminal development, disaster risk management and other public utilities development.
Ten (10) loan agreements providing Japanese funding support for several big-ticket infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program have been signed between Manila and Tokyo since 2016.
Japan remains to be the No. 1 provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans and grants to the Philippines, totaling US$8.26 billion (46 percent share of the country’s total ODA loan portfolio) as of December 2018.