The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) plays a very important role in the Philippines’ massive infrastructure program and the government hopes to deepen its cooperation with the bank in the future, said the government budget chief on Wednesday.

Benjamin Diokno, secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), told Xinhua during an interview that the AIIB really helps the Philippines supplement the finance requirement of major infrastructure projects.

“The fund from the AIIB guarantees is very important to us and it supplements our financial need and guarantees our infrastructure projects can get the start and go smoothly,” said Diokno.

AIIB, which was estabslished on Dec. 25, 2015, is a multilateral development bank.

The Philippines has been accepted as one of the 57 AIIB founding members. The indicative paid-in capital of the Philippines is 196 million U.S. dollars, payable in five years or 39 million U.S. dollars per annum.

In September 2017, the AIIB and the World Bank approved the funding to improve flood management in select drainage areas in the Metro Manila.

The project, called Metro Manila Flood Management Project, costs 500 million U.S. dollars, of which 207.6 million dollars will come from AIIB.

Diokno said under President Rodrigo’s administration, the massive infrastructure program is one of the Philippines’ priorities and now the government has 75 major projects. The government wants 20 percent of the total projects’ fund to borrow from foreign financial institutions while 80 percent is domestic.

Diokno told Xinhua that the Philippines seeks to further strengthen its cooperation with the AIIB and choose the most suitable infrastructure projects to co-finance with the AIIB.

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