The United States has expressed its willingness to provide substantial support to the stalled Mindanao Railway Project in the Philippines, the Philippine News Agency reported.
According to Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, the US has offered to invest “over a billion dollars” in the infrastructure initiative, with funding expected from the US International Development Financial Corporation (DFC).
Ambassador Romualdez shared the information in his year-end report to the Filipino community in the US, indicating that the DFC, known for investing in global infrastructure and development projects, would be the financing source for the Mindanao Railway Project.
The offer came after the Philippines decided against pursuing Chinese official development assistance (ODA) financing for the project in November.
“The US has also offered assistance for the Mindanao Railway Project, with financing expected to come from the US International Development Financial Corporation (DFC) that invests in infrastructure and development projects to help developing countries create jobs and foster economic growth,” said Romualdez.
To strengthen the commitment, a representative from the DFC is set to be part of the upcoming US presidential trade and investment delegation scheduled to visit the Philippines in March 2024.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, confirming the shift away from Chinese financing, mentioned that the government is exploring alternative funding sources for the PHP81.7 billion Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1 Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment.
The financing strategy may involve a combination of Philippine government support, official development assistance, and private sector participation.