China’s promised infrastructure billions yet to arrive in the Philippines, five years on

Close to the city center in Manilla, contractors and their workers are picking up the pace to ensure that the US$69-million bridge, funded by China, is finally completed before the close of the year, after failing to meet multiple deadlines previously set.

Of 14 infrastructure commitments made by China to the Philippines, the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge may be the first to be completed.

 is set to be among the first to be completed out of the 14 China-funded infrastructure projects in the pipeline. Back in 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte traveled to Beijing and dramatically embraced China.

During a trip to Beijing in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte pledged his allegiance to a room full of business think tanks, saying “I announce my separation from the US.” The Chinese president XI Jinping in turn pledged to dedicate US$24 billion towards different infrastructure projects and other investments in the Philippines. 

In line with the predictions of skeptics who had reservations about China’s bogus promise, five years have now passed, only 3 of 14 projects are under construction, and most of the biggest projects are either pending approval or yet to break ground.

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