The Chinese Embassy in Manila has called a senator’s demand that China shoulder the cost of the Philippines’ response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic as irresponsible.
“At this trying time, it is ridiculously absurd and irresponsible to make such remarks for the sole purpose of catching eyeballs and for selfish political gains,” the spokesperson of the embassy said in a statement posted on its website.
“China and the Philippine are working closely to fight the common threat of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the embassy added.
Earlier, Sen. Risa Hontiveros sought reparation from China for the annual losses the country has incurred due to China’s damage of reef ecosystems in the West Philippine Sea.
“The destruction to our reefs in Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands is equivalent to at least PhP 33.1 billion in losses annually, on top of other economic and health costs. This money is past due and could go to government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic,” Hontiveros said, citing the breakdown of costs stated by the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute,” said Hontiveros.
“China has been damaging our ecosystems for over 6 years now, which means our losses could already amount to over 200 billion pesos. This money could be used to fund our health and economic plans as we transition to a new normal,” the Senator added.