Press Release
November 19, 2018

Drilon to Duterte: Ask Xi Jinping to speed up delivery of investment pledges

Aside from the issue on the West Philippine Sea, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said he hopes the President will bring up the apparent delays in the release of Chinese loans and investment pledges during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit this week.

Since the Duterte administration adopted a policy of appeasement on China two years ago, Drilon said he has yet to see the economic advantages of such a sudden pivot to China.

"I hope the loan agreements that the Philippines has signed with the Chinese government will not be a case of pangakong napako," said Drilon."We must demand the Chinese government to honor its pledges."

Drilon noted that most projects under the government's Build, Build, Build program rely on Chinese loans and grants. The program is hit by delays, he added.

"It has been almost two years since the government has pivoted to China and signed various loan agreements, but until now there are no clear signs that these loans and investment pledges are going to be delivered soon, except for some minor projects," Drilon added.

Last June, Drilon urged a review of the government's policy of appeasement on China, saying it does not translate into better economic and trade relations with China. He cited Vietnam, which took a more aggressive stance against the economic giant but was found out to be benefiting more from China economically.

In 2017, bilateral trade between the Philippines and China was US$21.94 billion, while those of Vietnam and China was amounted to US$71.85 billion, he revealed.

Drilon also asked the President to take up the issue on the West Philippine Sea and the concerns of the fishermen, particularly the bullying they received from Chinese coast guards.

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