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Japan dev’t bank hopes to back PHL LNG, renewables projects

THE Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has expressed interest in finding Philippine partners to develop gas and renewables projects, the Palace said. 

The bank’s interest was conveyed during JBIC Chairman Tadashi Maeda’s courtesy call on President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in Malacañang on Wednesday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a statement.

It said JBIC is interested in “addressing the role” of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a traditional source of power in the Philippines.

The bank also wants to support hydropower, solar, and wind projects, the PCO added.

“We have the potential… between Japan and the Philippines to work together,” Mr. Maeda was quoted as saying.

He said he has met with Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., Metro Pacific Investments Corp., and San Miguel Corp. He did not provide details.

JBIC is a development-focused Japanese government bank formed from the merger of Japan Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund. The PCO said it operates in conjunction with private investors.

Meanwhile, Dato’ Sri Tahir, the founder of Indonesia’s Mayapada Group, told Mr. Marcos of his interest in exploring socially oriented Philippine ventures.

Mr. Tahir, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, operates banking, real estate, and other businesses. He is a member of Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s advisory council.

Mr. Tahir met with Mr. Marcos in Malacañang and told the chief executive of his interest in social-welfare projects, the PCO said in a separate statement.

“I would like to see explore (if) we can work together in social work,” Mr. Tahir was quoted as telling Mr. Marcos. “We have been working in the region. I hope that, with your permission, with your support, let me arrange to explore.”

Mr. Marcos briefed Mr. Tahir on the current government social welfare programs for children and the elderly, as well as ongoing initiatives in housing, the PCO said. 

“We have a program that we are going to start for street children. Unfortunately, we still have people who are homeless. So, we are trying to look after them,” Mr. Marcos said.

Mr. Marcos told Mr. Tahir that the government has set a target of one million housing units a year to address a housing backlog estimated at 6.5 million units in the socialized segment. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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