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Korea permits the Philippines to access $3 billion in ODA for infrastructure and environmental projects.

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On Wednesday, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea formally signed a deal allowing Manila to access loans from Seoul for up to USD 3 billion in official development aid (ODA).

During a ceremony at the DFA office in Pasay City, the “Framework Agreement Concerning Loans from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDFC)” was signed by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo and Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim In Chul.

According to the agreement, Manila could use ODA funds to pay for its infrastructure and environmental projects until 2026.

We appreciate the Republic of Korea’s prompt and consistent assistance with Philippine development initiatives, Manalo added.

The maximum investment from Korea is $3 billion, which is a threefold increase over the prior agreement. This will open the door for new initiatives involving development cooperation, particularly those involving infrastructure, the environment, and sustainability, he noted.

Manalo went on to admit that the people of the Philippines and South Korea share a “strong basis of trust and friendship.”

According to the DFA, the sum shows that the Korean government’s strategy is in line with the socioeconomic priorities of the Philippines.

The Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project, which would build a four-lane, 32.47-kilometer, two-sea-crossing bridge connecting the islands of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros, is one of the main loan projects to be funded.

Included as well are the Ilocos Norte and Abra Irrigation Project, which calls for a 126.41-meter high storage dam, a power plant that will produce 42.8 MW of electricity, and other elements for watershed management. The 13.32-kilometer road project that cuts through the coastal regions of Mandaue, Consolacion, and Liloan in Cebu is also mentioned.

According to DFA, further flood control projects under the Philippine-Korea Project Preparation Facility are also in the works.

According to the statement, “(South Korea’s) engagement in the development of the Philippine infrastructure, including the building of highways, trains, ports, and airports, is a significant feature of bilateral relations between the two nations.

In 2021, South Korea will be the Philippines’ sixth-largest ODA donor.

It has so far provided funding for a variety of construction projects, including the PHP11.2 billion Phase 2 of the Jalaur River Multipurpose Dam Project, which is irrigating more than 31,000 hectares of land, reducing flooding in the communities downriver, and connecting bulk-water supply in Iloilo; the PHP9.2 billion Building of a Port with Cargo Handling Capacity on a Reclaimed Land to Address Port Congestion in the Cebu International Port; and the Building of a two-lane bridge across the Panguil Bay, connecting Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte worth PHP7.4 billion.

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