Since last week, the Philippone media scenery, both main stream and social media, has been projecting an end-of-day sort for the country as if the administration’s critics’ warning of a Chinese invasion is in the offing.
First came the Chinese Coast Guard caught on video seizing the catch of local fishermen. Then came a Chinese military plane landing in Davao to refuel. Incidentally, the twin incidents happened before the country was to celebrate its 120th year of independence.
Of course, the administration’s critics were quick to pounce on the issues, accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of being a Chinese lackey. Some imaginative minds even went on to say the Chinese military plane carried military package intended for use in the Philippines.
Firstly, as what both the Philippine and Chinese governments are saying, the Chinese Coast Guard incident is an isolated case. In fact, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua had assured the Philippine government that the members of the Chinese Coast Guard who were involved in that unfortunate incident would be punished. And we have to take their word for that this time unless we plan to start a war with them as what Magdalo Congressman Gary Alejano had been insinuating although he had since denied this.
How can one forget they had easily raised their white flags even as the first shot had to be fired during their Oakwood Mutiny?
Second, the apprehension of a Chinese invasion following the landing of their aircraft in Davao, well, let’s just leave them to the fertile imagination of these critics.
But quite surprisingly, lost in the news of these alleged Chinese “incursions,” was the actual assistance extended to us by the Chinese government.
Last week, Filipino and Chinese officials led the grounbreaking of the P4.37-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, a China-funded project seen to boost rice production.
Also, before the merry month of May ended, China’s battery and electric vehicle maker BYD announced on Wednesday that it will provide the Philippines with the first-ever 10 electric buses which are expected to ply Manila’s roads by next month.
Actually, two of the 10 electric buses have already been delivered while the rest are expected early in July.
While the acquisition of the all-electric buses is a private undertaking between BYD and Columbian Motors Corporation(CMC), one of the Philippines’ largest bus manufacturers, it signifies China’s willingness to impart with us their advancement in technology.
And with the all-electric buses, transportation in Metro Manila will be more environment-friendly, more convenient, healthier and safer, and it is much bigger and spacious than the ordinary buses plying the roads of Metro Manila with its 80-passenger capacity.
Almost at the same time with the arrival of the first batch of the electric buses, BYD inked a deal with the Bataan provincial government to build a monorail transit.
The initial phase of the monorail, extending seven kilometers to the City of Balanga, is expected to ease the traffic congestion and optimize the transportation conditions in the city.
Powered by electricity, the monorail will not only address the traffic congestion but it will also build a green and environmental friendly public transport system.
Unfortunately, these items did not land in major local news outlets. If ever they did, they were not given that prominence as most media outlets feasted on the marketability of the grim scenario the administration’s critics have painted.
Only a few brave to delve on the positive side of the picture as to how China, which they have portrayed as a forever villain, had actually been assisting the country as we trek the road to progress and development.