PH, ROK ink accord

December 22, 2022 People's Tonight 381 views

THE Philippines (PH) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have signed an agreement allowing Manila to tap up to US$3 billion of official development assistance (ODA) loans from Seoul.

The accord was signed in Pasay City on Wednesday, December 21, by Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim in Chul.

Under the agreement, which was inked at the Department of Foreign Affairs office, Manila may access ODA loans until 2026 to fund its infrastructure and green projects.

After signing the accord, Secretary Manalo acknowledged the firm foundation of trust and friendship between the peoples of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.

It will be recalled that during the bloody 1950-55 Korean War, a total of 7,420 Filipino soldiers fought side-by-side with other United Nations troops in defending ROK.

On Sept. 19, 1950, the 10th Battalion Combat Team (10th BCT), with about 1,400 men, landed at the Port of Busan as the first of five BCTs that served under the UN Command.

Dubbed “Fighting Filipinos,” members of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces in Korea suffered 116 killed in action, 299 wounded and 57 missing (41 repatriated during POW exchanges),

Everybody agrees that the signing of the said agreement will go a long way in speeding up the completion of socio-economic development projects in various parts of the country.

One of those to be funded by the US$3-billion ODA loans is the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project.

Under the highly-ambitious project, a four-lane 32.47-kilometer, two sea-crossing bridges connecting the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros will be constructed.

The signing of the new PH-ROK accord is seen to pave the way for more development cooperation projects, especially in infrastructure, climate and green-related areas.