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DOTr in talks with China for new transport projects

After earlier China loan deals for railway projects fell through, the Philippines is in talks with its giant neighbor once more for the funding of transport projects.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian agreed to restart negotiations for major transport projects during their August 11 meeting at the Chinese Embassy, according to the Department of Transportation.

The DOTr said they tackled the resumption of talks for China-funded railway projects such as the PNR South Long Haul Project, Subic-Clark Railway, and Mindanao Railway.

They also talked about the China-Philippines Maritime Cooperation Projects, such as the hotline communication and legal affairs cooperation arrangements between the Philippine Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard; possible collaboration on Maritime Traffic Safety, Ferry Safety; a Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Search and Rescue; and the capacity building for maritime governance, safety supervision, and vessels safety inspection, it said.

“The Chinese government’s funding support for these projects will serve to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance the partnership between the Philippines and China,” it said in a statement.

Earlier, the Philippines’ loan applications with state-owned China Eximbank for three major railway projects were deemed withdrawn due to China’s inaction.

The railway projects were supposed to be among the major projects under the Build, Build, Build program of former President Rodrigo Duterte.