By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo wants the administration to be transparent when it comes to the 19 business deals signed between the Philippines and China during President Duterte’s third visit and participation in the belt and Road Forum held in Beijing, China last week.
Robredo made the statement on Sunday in Cebu a day after President Duterte returned to the Philippines from his trip to China, which Malacañang described as “productive and fruitful.”
“Iyong sa akin kasi, from Day 1, nagde-demand tayo ng transparency In fact, pangatlong pagbisita na ito ni Presidente sa China. Mula noong pinakauna niyang pagbisita, dine-demand na natin na makita iyong kopya ng mga kasunduan,” she said. (For my part, from Day 1, we have been demanding transparency. In fact, this was the third visit of the President in China. Since the start of his visit, we have been demanding to see the copies of the agreements.)
Robredo, the leader of the opposition, said the government should ensure there is public transparency about its latest dealings with the Asian giant during the Belt and Road Forum.
The Vice President was referring to the $12.165-billion worth of new investments and trade deals secured by the Philippines. Duterte witnessed the signing of these agreements.
Among these include infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, food, sale of agricultural products, tourism, economic zone, petrochemical, and industrial park projects that are expected to generate 21,165 jobs for Filipinos.
Robredo said she is interested to see particularly the terms of the agreements, including the compliance and implementation of the past deals the administration entered into with China.
“Iyung pagpasok sa agreements, ‘yun yung easy part, pero iyung pag-comply sa terms na siguradong advantageous sa ating mga Pilipino—yun iyung kailangan nating tutukan,” she told reporters. (Entering into the agreements is the easy part, but we should focus on the compliance to these terms that are advantageous to the Filipinos.)
“Masaya tayo every time na iyong pamahalaan pumapasok sa lalong lalo na sa trade agreements na magbe-benefit sa atin. Pero kailangan lang tayong magbantay,” Robredo added. (We are happy every time the government entered, especially into trade agreements that are beneficial to us. But we have to be on guard.)