A legal researcher and University of the Philippines law student urged his fellow Filipinos, especially President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters, to convince him that taking China’s deals is “bad” for the country in the long run.
“I know that you stand 100% behind Digong, and I know you have his back. I respect your force of will, if nothing else. But as his supporters, please reach out to him and make him understand that his deals with China are bad for the Philippines in the long run,” Facebook user Chad Osorio wrote.
“’Build! Build! Build!’ is great. Unquestionable that we need infra to improve our sorry state of transportation and communication, among other things. But to look at the examples in the international community, our proposed financial reliance on the current PRC administration spells ‘BAD NEWS,’” he added.
Osorio further explained his reasons on why he thought getting into a partnership with China for our infrastructure program is bad news. He discussed the nature of the Chinese contracts, emphasizing that these are loans with a 10% interest rate plus inflation, which is so much higher than the 5% offered by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Osorio pointed out the incidents involving weak structures built by China for various countries, such as a collapsing bridge, a road washed away by flood, and a collapsing hospital, and how such incidents may happen to the Philippines, given the lack of safeguards when it comes to building infrastructure.
So, who really benefits from a China-PH partnership? Osorio said it would be the “cronies” acting as middlemen, the same people who are pushing the Philippine government in getting Chinese loans.
As to whether the Philippines will be able to pay off Chinese loans, Osorio said that we can and it’s only fair to do so, but then, our country could have gotten better loans from other countries. He also brought up the fact that the Philippine peso is currently performing badly against the US dollar, which is the currency mostly used to pay off our debts. With China’s high interest rate and the PHP’s poor performance, it does not bode well for the country’s financial condition.
So if we default on our Chinese debts, Osorio cited instances on what happened to other countries with Chinese loans. Mongolia is selling energy sources to China at a much lower price compared to the global price, Cambodia sold its maritime port, and Venezuelans are going hungry while trying to pay off their debts.
Osorio admitted that the Philippines cannot afford to make China an enemy, but the partnership should be a genuine one, not one that will crush the Philippines in the long run.
“I don’t want to make an enemy of China. We can’t afford to, and that’s 100% for sure,” Osorio said.
“However, the deals we are being offered is NOT a partnership. Partners stand as equals. We are bound to stand beneath these loans, their weight getting heavier, crushing us and our sovereignty over time,” he added.
And his message to everyone?
“I’ve done the research and laid down all the facts. Now it’s your turn to please tell President Duterte to reconsider,” he said. “YOU are our only hope for this NOT to push through.”