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Drilon seeks review of PH-China infra loan deal

/ 08:28 PM March 31, 2019
Drilon votes against approval of 2019 national budget

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon (File photo by EDWIN BACASMAS / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Sunday backed the review of the loan deal between the Philippines and China which seeks to fund several infrastructure projects in the country.

Drilon said that the deal must be reviewed to ensure that the Philippines would not fall into “debt trap” with China in case the loan could not be paid.

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“Let’s review the stipulation of the loan agreement and ensure it does not massively favor China,” Drilon, speaking in Filipino, said in an interview with AM radio station DZBB.

“It’s important that we look at the possibility of a debt trap in case there comes a time when we can no longer pay the loan,” the senator added.

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He cited the Northrail Project of the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which her successor, President Benigno Aquino III, canceled after it was determined that the deal was disadvantageous for the country.

Drilon added that the public must be informed of the terms of conditions of the loan deal as public funds would be used to pay the loan.

“Reviewing a contract is nothing new, both here and in other countries,” Drilon said. /atm

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TAGS: China debt trap, Franklin Drilon, PH-China loan deal
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