DBM Sec. Diokno denies gov't uses PH territory as collateral for China loans - The Daily Sentry

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

DBM Sec. Diokno denies gov't uses PH territory as collateral for China loans

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno courtesy of UNTV

Manila, Philippines – The current administration is letting the public know that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has not entered any deals that is damaging to the country.

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno has specifically denied the allegations that the Philippines agreed on loans with China under "onerous conditions."

'No such conditions'

"That's coming from the alarmist group. There's no such thing as onerous conditions. We were smart. We're not like other countries. We don't mortgage our territories for a loan that is as straightforward as a railway system," Diokno said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

This statement was in response to Filipino think tank IBON Foundation's statement on Monday – claiming that the administration is brokering questionable deals with Beijing. 

IBON said the Philippines is "virtually giving up" its sovereignty if it submits to China's terms.

The budget chief explains that the government only allows loans for projects that would pass the cut-off which is 10 percent for economic rate returns.

The think tank IBON Foundation claimed China requires disputes surrounding the loan agreements be settled at the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC).

The said statement was disputed by Diokno saying:

"Usually, when you sign a loan, in case of arbitration, you assign that to a third party. Like, say Singapore, if there's a court there. You do not say it will be resolved by a Chinese court," Diokno said.

China and the Philippines signed total of 29 agreements in the 2 day State visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the country.*

Among the key agreements signed are oil and gas exploration, infrastructure, and telecommunications were signed.

Copies of deals to be released to public

Malacañang assured the public on Tuesday that it will release copies of all deals signed between the two countries during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Manila.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement following several documents and other information requests in relation to Xi’s visit.

Panelo, on the other hand, appealed to the public as well as the media, to patiently wait for the details since concerned agency is still busy.

“The Palace takes into account that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which is the Office of Primary Responsibility during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the country, is still preoccupied with activities on Day 2 of the Chinese leader's visit,” Panelo said in a press statement.

“We therefore ask for everyone's understanding, especially the media, in this regard,” he added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hand with President Rodrigo Duterte / Malacañang photo

 Source: CNN Philippines