PH gets $13.7 billion 'investment pledges' from China firms for renewable energy: Palace

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 05 2023 05:07 PM | Updated as of Jan 05 2023 06:36 PM

Office of the Press Secretary
Office of the Press Secretary

MANILA — Chinese firms have pledged around $13.7 billion for the country's renewable energy sector, Malacañang said on Thursday. 

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr hoped that Chinese investors will also discover the country's potential in manufacturing in the sector for project parts and equipment and help it develop.

He also welcomed potential investors in photovoltaic, onshore and offshore wind turbine generation, waste-to-energy, and other renewable energy projects, Press Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil said. 

“We look forward to more Chinese investments in renewable energy pursuits such as in solar and wind, as well as in related sectors including battery energy storage systems and off-grid power supply systems,” Marcos said during a roundtable meeting with Chinese firms on the matter. 

During the meeting, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said the Marcos government aims to provide 35 percent of renewable energy in the country's energy mix by 2030 and 40 percent by 2040. 

A total of 52,000 megawatts will be needed though to attain the 40 percent renewable energy target by 2040, of which 27,000 MW will come from solar and 16,000 from wind, said Lotilla. 

“But this does not take into account right now the total offshore wind potential of 178 gigawatts or 178,000 megawatts for the Philippines as a whole,” he said. 


In a separate statement, the Department of Finance said the following agreements and completion documents were signed: 

  •  4 individual loan agreements worth $201.8 million co-signed by Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank)
  •  Framework Agreement for the implementation of the Priority Bridges Crossing Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway under Chinese Government Financing co-signed by the China International Development Cooperation Agency. 
  •  Agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two countries
  •  Handover certificate for the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge

The loan agreements raised the country's cumulative loan commitments to China to $1.06 billion, according to the DOF. 

Meanwhile, the framework agreement for the Pasig-Marikina River bridge and the Manggahan floodway "is a precursor agreement which gives the Philippines access to the renminbi (RMB)-denominated government concessional loan (GCL) facility portion of the loan."

The agreement on economic and technical cooperation, on the other hand, provides RMB1.5 billion or equivalent to about $217.7 million or P12.2 billion. 

This is "for projects to be agreed between China and the Philippines based on the development plan and specific needs of the Philippine government," the agency said.

Malacañang has yet to disclose how much in investment pledges the Philippines expected to yield from Marcos’ 3-day state visit to Beijing.

Marcos’ state visit to China comes about 2 months after his first face-to-face meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bangkok last year.

Marcos' predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, also boasted about bringing home $24 billion in investment pledges during his first state visit to China in 2016. 

But years later only a small fraction of the pledged investments and loans had been delivered. 

In 2020, Duterte’s own Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said China was “slow” in providing funding for the country’s infrastructure projects. 

The National Economic and Development Authority said that as of August 2020, or 4 years after Duterte’s China visit, the country had received only P5.9 billion for the Binondo-Intramurous and Estrella-Pantaleon bridges, P1 billion for the rehabilitation of conflict-stricken Marawi City, P4.4 billion for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, and P12 billion for the New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam. 

In July this year, the Department of Transportation said the construction of several China-backed railway projects under the "Build, Build, Build" program could not move forward because they have yet to be funded.

— with reports from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News