Press Release
November 22, 2018

Recto: Cabinet men face grilling on 29 PH-China deals during budget debates

If the Senate will start floor debates on the 2019 national budget next month, then the particulars of any or all of the 29 Philippine -China deals signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit may be asked of the Cabinet member who signed the deal, or whose agency is responsible for implementing the agreement.

This is to serve notice to department secretaries that the issue of the 29 agreements may crop up in the course of the plenary examination of their budget. So be prepared for queries. More so if the agreement binds us to a project which will be financed by loans, enlarges the national debt, or requires large budgetary counterpart requiring yearly appropriations. Is the project really needed by the people? Or is it supplier driven?

The price tag of these commitments must be explained, as well as the benefits to the public. If these are grants and interest-free loans, then the Senate will be advised as well so that we can convey our thanks.

A senator during the budget debate can focus a powerful spotlight on these agreements.

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