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Monday, April 22, 2024

China aid highest under Duterte, data show

THE Philippines received more assistance, donations and investments from China during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, compared to his predecessor’s, data showed.

Based on compiled data by The Manila Times from the Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), Duterte’s rapprochement with China led to a 382-percent increase in approved foreign investments from the time of former president Benigno Aquino 3rd.

The data runs contrary to claims by critics that Filipinos have gained little if nothing from the foreign policy of the previous administration.

In the years of the Aquino administration, from 2011 to 2015, the Philippines received a total of $43 billion worth of investments from the Chinese government.

From 2017 to 2021, the Duterte government brought in $164.64 billion in investments from China. This includes the two years, 2020 and 2021 when the world was struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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In 2019 alone, the Philippines received $89.64 billion worth of investments from China, more than double the combined amount received during the five years of the Aquino government that have been included in this study.

There were more Chinese investments received by the country at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 ($15.8 billion) than in each of the four years of the Aquino administration (2012, $3.8 billion; 2013, $1.7 billion; 2014, $12.5 billion; 2015, $3.5 billion).

The figures included during the administration of Aquino were those from 2011 to 2015, since 2010 was a shared year with former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, while 2016 was a shared year with Duterte.

On the other hand, the figures included during the Duterte government were those recorded for 2017 to 2021, since 2016 was a shared year with Aquino and 2022 was a shared year with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Among the projects that reached various stages of development are the $5.4 billion investments in the third telecom player DITO-China telecom partnership; the 250-MW South Pulangi hydroelectric power plant project in Damulog, Bukidnon; the $1.5-billion petrochemical refinery processing plant complex in the Tubalan Cove Business and Industrial Park; the $40 million collaboration to promote indigenous, new and renewable energy resources; and the $500-million construction of infrastructure for nationwide Wi-Fi connectivity.

Some projects were delayed due to the pandemic or blocked for political reasons.

The Philippines also received higher official development assistance (ODA) from China during the time of Duterte than during the incumbency of Aquino.

The grants the Philippines received from China rose by 81.83 percent from the time of Aquino to Duterte, from $1.56 million to $127.66 million.

The projects covered by the grants from China during the Duterte government include the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge in Manila and the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge in Mandaluyong City.

In addition, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) extended $2.4 billion in loans during the Duterte administration. It was under the Aquino administration that the Philippines became one of the founding members of AIIB.

Covered by China development loans during the time of Duterte were the Metro Manila Flood Management Project, the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project and the Samal Island-Davao City Bridge.

There were also numerous donations that China extended to the Philippines during the Duterte administration, including P1 billion in rescue and relief equipment for the Marawi rehabilitation; P169 million in 3,000 assault rifles, ammunition and accessories; 12-meter-long boats and 30 rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) launchers that was delivered during the height of the Marawi crisis; and other disaster and relief assistance including 10,000 tons of rice that were distributed to the families affected by the series of typhoons, and medical supplies and vaccines during the pandemic.

BFIA Admin
BFIA Admin
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