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China donated more to PH than US? Nope, just look at these latest facts!

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A chart enumerating the top 10 foreign aid donors to the Philippines has been circulating on Facebook and widely shared by fan pages.

One of these pages, Showbiz Government, even taunted actress Agot Isidro for her post criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte’s dare for the US and the EU to withdraw their aid to the country. Its caption said: “China and Japan has given us more than the US, AUS & EU combined! Ayan magugutom si Agot kapag nawala ang US!!!”

China Donated More to PH

Another Facebook fan page for Duterte shared an article showing the same chart, with the caption that said: “Miss Agot was so afraid na magugutom if US will leave us. See the contribution of US, abysmally little compared to Japan.”

China Donated More to PH

Even former interior secretary Rafael Alunan III during FVR’s administration shared the same article, with this caption: “FYI. Empirical evidence that speaks for itself. The top 2 foreign donors are Japan at No. 1 and China at No. 2, followed by the World Bank and the ADB. The US is a distant fifth.”

China Donated More to PH

However, Facebook user Bernard Ong presented facts refuting the implications behind the Facebook posts above – that the US was not that much of a generous donor anyway and that the Chinese donated more than the Americans.

In his post, Ong said he wrote this post to counter the memes circulating online based on the November 2011 article, “Top 10 Foreign Aid Donors to the Philippines,” written by Pete Troilo on Devex. The biggest donor was Japan ($2.659 billion), followed by China ($1.163 billion), World Bank ($950 million), Asian Development Bank ($637 million), and US ($187 million).

Troilo also enumerated projects under the China-PH agreements, such as the Northrail Project, Main Line South Railway Project, and the Non-Intrusive Container Inspection system and each project’s worth.

However, Ong went on to clear things up by referring to NEDA’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) data in 2015.

First Point: “Big Donor is not the same as Big Lender”

He said that being a big donor does not mean being a big lender because donating and lending are two different things in ODA.

“ODA has 2 components – concessional loans & outright grants. Loans must be repaid. Grants are free,” Ong said.

Ong then compared the figures of the grants portfolio in 2011 with the figures in 2015.

“2011 ODA grants portfolio: #1 USA $841m. #2 Australia $270m. #3 EU $197m. #4 UN $182m #5 World Bank 168m. #6 Japan $135m. #7 Germany $89m,” he wrote.

“In 2015 ODA grants portfolio: #1 USA $1.149b. #2 UN $608m. #3 Australia $589m. #4 EU $175m. #5 Japan $167m #12 China $5.7m,” he added.

Ong emphasized that the US donated 200 times more than China did.

Second Point: “China is Big Lender. Timing makes it seem Bigger”

Ong summed up the ODA loans portfolio during in 2011 and 2015 as well.

“2011 ODA loans portfolio: #1 Japan/JICA $2.738b. #2 World Bank $2.4b. #3 Others $1.32b. #4 China $1.141b #5 ADB $922m. Among China’s loans $900m or 79% is allocated to NorthRail Project,” Ong said.

“2015 ODA loans portfolio: #1 World Bank $4.453b. #2 Japan $3.159b. #3 ADB $2.231b #4. South Korea 525m. #5 France $437m. #6 China $115m,” he added.

If you look at 2011, China did lend the Philippines 13.3% of its ODA loans. However, the figure drastically changed in 2015, wherein China only lent 1.03% of the Philippines’ ODA loans.

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Third Point: “USA is Bigger Lender, Adjusting for Aid Channels”

The US helps the Philippines through various channels.

Ong enumerated those channels as the following: “World Bank for development lending (ODA) loans. International Finance Corp for investment. International Monetary Fund for financial stabilization, USAID for grants (ODA grants), military donations.”

When it comes to World Bank, the US certainly had more shares than China, owning 17.47% of the financial institution, compared to China’s 4.85% share.

Ong also noted how in 2015, ODA loans granted by the US amounted to $778 million, which is more than double China’s $331 million loans, after incorporating the participation of World Bank in the equation.

Fourth Point: “Big Chinese Projects Did Not Happen”

Those Chinese projects enumerated by Troilo in his article did not materialize.

“NorthRail Project got bogged down on issues of rights of way, informal settlers & corruption. Then President Aquino called the Chinese loan “neither concessional nor helpful to our country.” China demanded early repayment for the first $400m with interest. The other $500m was never released,” he said.

As opposed to the Devex article, Ong said that Main Line South Railway project was no even the Chinese’s project. In fact, it did not even make it to the 2011 NEDA ODA portfolio. The Main Line project then combined efforts with North-South Rail Project, which would cost P171 billion, the biggest among all the PPP projects.

“This has not bid out yet – 5 years after it was listed as China-funded project,” Ong said.

Fifth Point: “China’s Loans Carry Conditions”

As per the law, concessional loans come with a “concessional” element, which is loans being priced below market rates, as per Ong’s explanation.

“Concessional loans are required by law to carry a “concessional” element – they must be priced below market rates. Concessionality is defined as reduction on repayments, expressed at present value using 10% discount rate,” Ong wrote.

“That 10% discount rate assumption is too high. In 2015, Philippine government was able to borrow $2b from open market at 3.95%. It is misleading to count the reductions vs excessive 10% rate as “concession” when we can secure similar value by borrowing at cheap rates form the market,” he further explained.

Ong said that while the Philippines was able to borrow $900 million for the NorthRail loan from China Eximbank, the bank only approved of the loan because the China National Machinery and Industry Corp. (Sinomach) won in the bidding.

“It is conditional on the use of a Chinese suppler. Such exclusive-supplier arrangements are often suspected of overpricing and kickback arrangements,” Ong noted.

For those who might be wondering where Ong is getting his facts he also provided links to his sources.

Ong urged his followers to help others understand this issue better, especially since the chart used was back in 2011. So many things have happened in the past five years since then. Moreover, if donation is what’s in question here, Memebuster posted an article before about former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez’s commentary on the “Yolanda” aid coming from the US, EU, and other countries. The US gave 10.5% of the total Yolanda aid, while both Russia and China donated less than one percent of the total funds. Golez said that he presented the facts to show who the Philippines’ real friends are and who did not care as much when tragedy devastated and killed thousands of Filipinos.

As Ong has pointed out, the US still helped the Philippines so much more than China did. The 2015 data are hugely different from the 2011 data, which was also before the PH-China relations soured due to the dispute over the West Philippine Sea.

 

Sources: (facebook.com, devex.com)

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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