PH taps Japan for Subic Bay masterplan

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2019 11:16 AM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks while delivering a joint statement with President Rodrigo Duterte during a ceremony at the presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, January 12, 2017. Erik De Castro, Reuters/File

MANILA - The government has tapped the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the formulation of a masterplan which aims to boost economic potential of Subic Bay and its surrounding areas, the Finance department said Tuesday.

Under a memorandum of cooperation, Japan signified its commitment to provide technical support to the administration in the formulation of a "regional development master plan" designed to maximize economic potential of Subic Bay, a former US naval base, and its periphery, the DOF said in a statement.

The commitment was conveyed to President Rodrigo Duterte by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their bilateral meeting last Nov. 4, held on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Thailand, the DOF said.

“The two leaders affirmed that the Japanese assistance is a testament to the deepening strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines,” the DOF said in a statement.

The proposed masterplan will outline possible projects in the area such as road network development, logistics terminal development, disaster risk management and other public utilities, it said.

Japan remains as the top provider of official development assistance (ODA), loans and grants to the Philippines with $8.26 billion or 46 percent of the country's total ODA portfolio as of December 2018, the DOF said.