China debt yarn irks DoF

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Dominguez

On the issue of elevated inflation, Dominguez said the Philippines remains among the fastest growing economies in the world’s fastest-growing region despite the high inflation print.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III split hairs with critics on Sunday, disputing claims China supports the Philippines with debt packages the country at some point will find difficult to service.

“It is wrong to say that the government of China is supporting us. It is the people of China who pay their taxes there who are supporting us. It is the people of Japan who pay their taxes there who are supporting the Filipino people,” Dominguez said.

“Thus, we take great care that the funds we borrow are used wisely and produce sufficient economic benefits to make the debt service easier down the road,” he added.

According to him, the government’s borrowing activities are executed with great prudence, bearing in mind the taxpayers and their children will ultimately pay for the debt.

He reiterated the Philippines is not falling into a debt trap as program critics allege, pointing out that their qualms are unfounded as the Duterte administration will not allow the country to drown in debt obtained from external sources.

“Let me reiterate, in the face of uninformed criticism, this administration is not about to allow the country to drown in debts to China. In all the financing agreements, we made sure the country got the best deals possible and that the cardinal tenets of fiscal discipline are carefully observed,” Dominguez said

“We learned much from a previous administration’s scandalous mismanagement of Chinese projects and financing. During that time, the previous leadership allowed Chinese state-owned enterprises to dictate what projects will be undertaken here,” he said.

A series of stringent procedures were followed in all the financing agreements with China, according to the Finance chief.

Dominguez said the ambitious Build, Build, Build program will modernize the country’s infrastructure, enable the economy to sustain the growth momentum and unlock better opportunities for every Filipino.

On the issue of elevated inflation, Dominguez said the Philippines remains among the fastest growing economies in the world’s fastest-growing region despite the high inflation print.

“The government has responded decisively to the challenge posed by elevated inflation rates. We expect inflation to taper off in the closing months of the year,” he said.

“Our fundamentals also remain strong. The present administration has added to those fundamentals the element of decisiveness. We intend to move quickly but surely in pushing forward with the economic programs we committed to complete by the end of the administration,” Dominguez said.

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