MANILA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez thanked China for its "understanding and sympathy" to the needs of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte by offering grants for building drug rehabilitation facilities and river bridges.
China has recently offered grants to the Philippines to build two drug rehabilitation facilities in the south of the Philippines and two bridges across the Pasig River in Manila that can help decongest Manila's worsening traffic.
"These projects indicate China's understanding and sympathy for the challenges that confront our people as we move forward towards a truly dynamic and inclusive economy," Dominguez said in a statement released on Sunday.
"On behalf of the Philippine government, we express our sincerest thanks to China for (funding) the projects. These projects, which will be purely funded by grants, will bring immediate benefits to our people," Dominguez said.
"The rehabilitation centers for drug-dependents are significant contributions to help us win the war against abuse of illegal substances," he said.
Meanwhile, he said the two bridges to be built at the heart of Metro Manila will help ease the traffic congestion in the area. "More than that, they symbolize the friendship we are building between our two peoples," he added.
He said that "over the next months and years," the government also expects to commence construction of the first batch of major infrastructure projects funded with China's assistance.
China has also provided grants and development assistance worth tens of millions of U.S. dollars for Marawi's rehabilitation program. The southern Philippine city is in ruins after a five-month war between government security forces and the pro-Islamic State militants that laid siege to the city in May.