22 Jun China Offers Building Railways in the Philippines to Solve Traffic Problems
Regardless of the tensions between China and the Philippines, incoming president Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte spoke on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, during a two-day consultation with businessmen in Davao City dubbed as “Sulong Pilipinas: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran”, that Beijing offered to build railways in the Philippines addressing the traffic problem in the country.
“Even before the elections, the ambassador sabi niya – ‘yung babae – we will do the railway immediately. We will start immediately and we will solve your Manila run,” Duterte said.
It can be recalled that Duterte eyed on the railway systems in Luzon and in Mindanao last month, considering them as his “first big projects” as he assumes the presidential seat. The said railways systems would connect Manila to Nueva Vizcaya in Central Luzon, Manila to Batangas, and the whole of Mindanao.
However, with such big project, other countries need to be involved due to the lack of financing. And when asked about possible funding sources, Duterte said as quoted but didn’t elaborate, “Maybe China.”
Incoming Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade is said to head to China to talk through with the railway projects.
“Art Tugade has to go to China not to talk about war, not to talk about relations there, but to talk about peace and how they can help us,” Duterte said.
China has also pledged to support the Manila-Bicol and Manila-Batangas railways.