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Japan’s Shinzo Abe pledges technical assistance for Subic Bay Freeport masterplan

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Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to President Rodrigo Duterte Japan’s technical assistance in crafting a master plan for the regional development of Subic Bay Freeport and its surrounding areas.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Department of Finance (DOF) said this took place during the two leaders’ bilateral meeting  Monday on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

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

The master plan will outline possible projects in Subic Bay and its surrounding areas in terms of road network development, logistics, terminal development, disaster risk management, and other public utilities development.

“Japan remains to be the No. 1 provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans and grants to the Philippines, totaling $8.26 billion (46% share of the country’s  total ODA loan portfolio) as of December 2018,” the DOF noted.

Ten loan agreements with Japan providing funding for several projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program have been signed between Manila and Tokyo since 2016. —Joahna Lei Casilao/VDS, GMA News

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