Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said on Tuesday that there will be no dangers of so-called debt trap from the China-funded infrastructure projects, adding all the programs are "economically viable" and positive for the Philippine economy.
"We're aware that excessive debt, especially for projects that are not economically viable, are very bad. So all our projects, especially our projects with China, are all economically viable," he told reporters, while attending a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of two bridges in Manila that are financed by the Chinese government.
"There will be no dangers of debt trap here," said Dominguez.
For example, he said the China-funded Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, which started construction in June, will provide water to 8,700 hectares of agricultural land and benefit 4,350 farmers in the Northern Luzon island of the Philippines.
"The requirement in Northern Luzon which will be served by the Chico River irrigation project has already a big demand for the water so that's an important project. It is economically viable," Dominguez said.
Another example the secretary cited is the China-funded Kaliwa Dam project that will supply water to Metro Manila. "It is a project that Metro Manila needs a new source of water so it is a project that already has a demand," he said.
"The other projects that we are going to do particularly the railway project which is one of our biggest projects between Manila and Bicol is something that will help the Bicol region. It will help the economy. All these projects are going to be positive for the economy," he added.
Dominguez said the Philippines and China have a lot of projects in the pipeline. "We already started the Chico River project. The next one will be the awarding of the contractor for the Kailwa Dam that will supply water for the Metro Manila," he said.
"So we are moving quite quickly ahead," Dominguez said.
The Philippines is one of the most important participants, contributors and beneficiaries to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
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