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PH to receive $1B assistance from South Korea, government assures transparency

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The Philippines will receive $1 billion official development assistance (ODA) from South Korea as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s three-day official visit.

South Korea offered to double its ODA to the Philippines for $500 million to $1 billion in support of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that of the $1 billion assistance to be provided by South Korea, $172.64 million will be used for the New Cebu International Container Port Project. A loan agreement for this initiative was already signed by Dominguez and Export-Import Bank of Korea Chairman and President Sung-soo Eun.

Three projects were also placed in the pipeline under the billion-dollar framework agreement, including a $50-million project preparation facility for the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), a $100-million financing for the new Dumaguete airport development project, and a $41-million project for the implementation of an electronic receipt system for the monitoring of taxes paid by Philippine retailers.

Dominguez said the government plans to use the remaining $636-million balance to fund two to three more flagship projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.

Dominguez assured that none of the assistance provided to the Philippines would be wasted on corruption, stressing that the Commission on Audit (COA) would be involved in the monitoring of projects to be financed by the ODA.

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