Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to provide 150 million renminbi or about P1.15 billion in grants to the Philippines for the rehabilitation and relief of war-torn Marawi City, according to The Manila Times Online Thursday.
The pledge was made during a meeting between Mr Li and President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacanang on Wednesday.
Speaking a joint press conference, Mr Li said China was supportive of the Philippine government’s efforts to fight terrorism.
The grant agreement, titled “Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation,” was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Domingue 3 rd and China’s Vice Commerce Minister Fu Ziyang in the presence of Duterte and Li.
Premier Li expressed confidence that the Philippine government would be able to complete Marawi’s rehabilitation “at very early date.” He also said that the time has come for China and the Philippines to accelerate cooperation.
During the meeting with Mr Li, Duterte highlighted China’s dedication to support his government when if badly needed the help of the other countries in stopping the battle in Marawi.
Duterte proudly related to Li that terror leader Isnilon Hapilon was killed using one of the rifles donated by China to the Philippines.
“We look forward to more robust, more productive relations in the days to come. Let me assure you that during the critical stage of the Marawi incident, where we needed help badly, it was China who responded immediately to our cry for help,” said Duterte.
Besides the pledge of P1.15 billion in grants, the two countries also signed 14 deals that involve infrastructure projects, including massive drug rehabilitation centre.
Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said more than P50 billion would be needed to finance the repair and construction of government and private infrastructure in Marawi City.