Duterte puts the Philippines in the Chinese debt trap

Comment by Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
April 27, 2019

Duterte has put the Philippines in the Chinese debt trap, with the Philippine natural resources and the projects themselves as collateral. And the Filipino people are not fully informed and are deliberately kept ignorant of the terms of the deals by Duterte and his clique.

But enough information is already out to show that the deals are lopsidedly in favor of the Chinese banks, contractors, suppliers and Chinese workers, are designed to result in loan defaults amd are subject to Chinese sovereignty and Chinese judicial authority in case of any dispute.

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PH inks P633 billion in trade, investment deals with China
Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 26 2019 07:19 PM | Updated as of Apr 26 2019 08:16 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 25, 2019. Kenzaburo Fukuhara, Pool/AFP

MANILA (UPDATE) – The Philippines signed Friday 19 business deals with Chinese firms amounting to P633 billion ($12.16 billion) on the sidelines of the second Belt and Road Forum in Chinese capital Beijing.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, Manila’s business delegation signed a contract agreement, 2 cooperation deals, 2 purchase framework deals, and 13 memoranda of agreement or understanding.

Majority of the deals cover energy, infrastructure, food, telecommunications, tourism, and economic zone development. The agreements are expected to generate over 21,000 jobs, the DTI said.

President Rodrigo Duterte along with several of his Cabinet members witnessed the signing of the business agreements.

“The Duterte administration is pushing for investments on energy and manufacturing for the Philippines to broaden its manufacturing base and increase its exports,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

The new deals came amid improving trade ties between the two countries, which also signed 29 deals in Manila during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Philippines in November.

Below are the agreements signed by the Philippines and China:

  • An $800-million contract agreement for the proposed 250MW South Pulangi Hydroelectric Power Plant Project in Damulog, Bukidnon between the Pulangi Hydro Power Corporation and China Energy Co Ltd.
  • A framework agreement between Filipino conglomerate Tranzen Group and China Power Investment Holding for thermal, hydro, and renewable power plants worth at least $1.5 billion.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Davao Occidental local government and Fengyuan Holdings for a $ 1.5-billion petrochemical refinery processing plant complex to be located at the Tubalan Cove Business and Industrial Park.
  • A $40-million memorandum of understanding between the Department of Energy, Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd, and Deluxe Family Co. Ltd. to collaborate in the promotion of the use of indigenous, new, and renewable energy resources.
  • A $4-billion memorandum of understanding between Filipino conglomerate Tranzen Group with China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. for construction of the Light Rail Transit in Manila, housing, and roads in North Luzon.
  • A $500-million memorandum of understanding between Filipino conglomerate Tranzen Group with CITIC Guoan Information Technology to construct infrastructure for nationwide Wi-Fi Internet connectivity in various capital cities and towns in the Philippines.
  • A purchase framework agreement between Philpack Corporation and Chinese company Goodfarmer Foods Holding Group for the supply of $40 million worth of pineapples to the Beijing firm.
  • A purchase framework agreement for Eng Seng Food Products to supply $36.5 million worth of green coconuts to China Artex Corporation.
  • Six memoranda of understanding between the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and Chinese firms for the development of the economic zone. Projects include a $150-million yacht club, a $-500 million green textile industry park, a $500-million expansion of the Cagayan North International Airport, a $100-million fintech hub and financial center, a $500-million smart city, and $150 million for various projects including a resort and theme park and a lithium battery manufacturing plant.
  • A $1.5-billion framework agreement between the Pampanga local government and Chinese firm Macrolink Group to construct and develop the Yatai Industrial Park.
  • A framework agreement between GFTG Property Holdings and Sanya CEDF Sino-Philippine Investment Corporation for a $298-million project to develop Grande and Chiquita Islands under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
  • A memorandum of understanding between Adnama Mining Resource Inc., Fu Properties Inc., and Xiamen C&D Incorporation to construct a $50-million iron processing plant in Agusan Del Norte.
  • A memorandum of understanding for the proposed Silk Road International Development Fund between the Philippines Silk Road Holdings Co., Inc. and the Silk Road International Development Fund Ltd.
  • A memorandum of agreement between the Philippine International Overseas Management System Inc. and the Guofa Major Project Management Co. Ltd. to establish a strategic partnership to train and introduce Filipino domestic helpers to China.

Critics had earlier warned against entering deals with China, citing earlier loan agreements where patrimonial assets were allegedly used as collateral. Government has denied this.

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