Roilo Gomez says PH may be paying China its natural resources - The Daily Sentry

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Roilo Gomez says PH may be paying China its natural resources

Photo compiled from Google
Philippines has sought the aid of China to help improve its economy through infrastructure projects, amounting to a total of P8.4 trillion, in which some of the plans will be realized this year.

The Sino-Philippine relations has been fortified in the past months after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in June 2016 and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said that the two countries “have signed a slew of agreements over Chinese support for Philippine infrastructure construction."

Head of Xiamen University's Southeast Asian Studies Center Zhuang Guotu said that since Philippines is still too weak to independent fund and execute its large-scale infrastructure project, China is ready to step in to provide the necessary resources.

Last November 2017, China has already loaned a total of $7.34 billion to the Philippines so the latter can get a headstart in 10 major infrastructure projects.

Zhuang explained that, “the interest rate on the loans China has provided to the Southeast Asian country is very low. And the Philippines has strong debt-paying ability. Besides, the loans are usually accompanied by repayment agreements, which use certain natural resources as collateral."

Blogger Roilo Golez raised concerns regarding the part about the use of natural resources as collateral, and linked the ongoing negotiations and “co-ownership” over the South China Sea as the Philippines way of paying China for its aid.
Goilez demans that the MalacaƱang Palace and other concerned agencies should clarify the issue on using the nation’s natural resources as payment.

Zhuang, otherwise, commended the stronger bilateral ties between the two nations as he emphasized the energy cooperation through joint oil and gas explorations that would help alleviate the energy shortage in the Philippines.

Research fellow at Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing Bai Ming said that the creation of Chinese industrial parks in the Philippines can even generate revenue and jobs for the latter.

"The launch of industrial parks is expected to attract a group of companies within an industry chain and thus overcome the disadvantages for a single company in investing overseas," Ming said.