PINUKPUK, Kalinga, June 11 (PIA) – – The P4.3- billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the first flagship infrastructure project to be financed by China under President Duterte’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program will be completed in three years- time, a Chinese official vowed.
Jin Yuan, Economic and Commercial Consellor of the Chinese Embassy in Manila said “there will be no more eight years of waiting but three years to complete the project” referring to the long eight-year period the project was being worked out by the Philippine government.
“The Chinese side will do its part to build this project and make it a symbol of China-Philippine Friendship,” he said in his message during the project’s grounbreaking at Pinococ in this town on June 8.
Upon completion, the project will provide a stable supply of water to around 8,700 hectares of agricultural land, benefits 4,350 farmers and their families and serves 21 barangays in the provinces of Kalinga and Cagayan in Northern Luzon.
The contract was signed on March 8, 2018 awarding the contract to China CAMC Engineering Corporation. On April 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Duterte signed the Loan Agreement on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, China.
With its leaders meeting already five times to build friendship and economic cooperation, it resulted to China-Philippine trade volume exceeding $50 billion, making China the Philippines’ top trading partner, top-import origin and the fourth largest export market. China’s investment to the Philippines increased by 67%, Yuan said.
“Besides the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the two sides are discussing the first and second basket of infrastructure projects worth $10 billion to be funded by China, which will gradually begin construction from next year,” the Chinese official informed.
Yuan sees the Philippines as one of the most important participants, contributors, and beneficiaries in the future under the “Belt and Road” Initiative as the two countries continue to steer the ship of building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
By Peter A. Balocnit