Think Tank group cautions PH economic team on Beijing infra loan deals | BICOL TODAY

Think Tank group cautions PH economic team on Beijing infra loan deals

MANILA – Infrastructure-oriented think-tank, Infrawatch PH, urged the Duterte economic team to ensure that no onerous infrastructure loans will be made with Beijing.

“What the public expects from the high-level meeting between the economic team and its counterparts in Beijing is that all loan commitments should have interest rates comparable to other development partners,” said Terry Ridon, convenor of Infrawatch PH.

Ridon is former urban poor chief of President Duterte, and former lawmaker of partylist Kabataan.

Ridon expressed caution as the Philippine government delegation led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez meets with the Chinese delegation led by Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing to discuss Build Build Build projects to be funded by China.

Ridon, who was previously a member of the bicameral panel on overseas development assistance, said the public has serious concerns on the interest rates imposed by China on the proposed development projects.

“China has loaned us P3.14billion for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project. However, the twenty-year loan carried an interest of 2-percent a year, while loans from other development partners like Japan have interest rates of only 0.25-pct to 0.75-pct.”

Ridon said the economic team should insist that China makes a commitment to present competitive interest rates for its development loans.

“We cannot simply accept the reasoning that government ‘needs more friends’ to justify high interest-rate loans from a supposedly friendly neighbor,” he said.

NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia was previously quoted as saying that “the government “needs more friends” like China to carry out ambitious infrastructure projects”. []

Posted by on August 29, 2018. Filed under Nation,Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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