As the Duterte administration is bent on reviving the Bicol Train express, drawing applause from the Bicolanos, Leni Robredo decides to rain on the parade.
Robredo told UNTV about her fears of the Duterte’s administration plan of reviving PNR and using Chinese loans for the rehabilitation.
“Naging horror story na sa atin ang PNR. Matagal na anting inaasam, matagal 5tayong sumisigaw na bigyan sya ng atensyon. Noong nakaraang administrasyon parang finally napakinggan tayo.”
However, the VP is wary of the Duterte’s administration plan of financing the PNR rehabiliation with Chinese loans amounting to P175B.
Pero kasi iyong unang plano PPP pero biglang nag-change ang policy nitong administrasyon, na iyong PPP gawing ODA. Iyo0n ang dahilan kung bakit naantala . pero gaya ng sabi ni Usec Cesar Chavez sa atin, tuloy pa din yun.
Robredo’s fear is that this could lead to the so-called Chinese debt trap.
Iyong pakiusap ko sana pakitingnan muna ang lahat ng alternatives at ibigay sana sa atin ang pinak-favorable naman para sa atin lahat kasi syempre kapag utang yan, magbebear ng burden niyan, tayo din so dapat sana pag-desisyunan ng maayos.
Meanwhile, according to DOTR Usec Cesar Chavez, the ODA signing of the P175B loan could happen during the 31st ASEAN Summit on Novemebr 16-17 this year.
As a result of Robredo’s negative statement on getting Chinese financing for the PNR rehabiliation, Sass Rogando Sasot lectured Leni Robredo why talking about something without proper research is a PR nightmare for her.
LENI HERE YOU GO AGAIN
Dear Mrs Robredo,
Could you please stop talking about something you obviously don’t know? Do you seriously know why Sri Lanka was in a debt trap? Apparently not.
It’s not because Sri Lanka took out Chinese loans to build infrastructure, the Hambantota port. A simple RESEARCH on the issue could have lead you to this BBC article, which succinctly explains why the Hambantota port was a failure, making Sri Lanka trapped in a cycle of debt.
“Hambantota has struggled to make money, partly because it is fairy isolated. With no industrial hub nearby, there are no natural customers on its doorstep…
The island’s total debt stands at $64bn. About 95% of all government revenues go towards debt repayment.
And when some of that money borrowed has been seemingly squandered on infrastructure that shows no sign of turning a profit, that is even more damaging.”
So instead of blaming loan, you must blame poor planning. Infrastructure must aid economic growth. If infrastructure development leads to economic flourishing, then the loan could be paid off easily, avoiding the so-called debt trap.
So instead na magbubunganga ka diyan ng mga “slogan” at shallow assessment of what happened in another country, PLEASE lang Mrs Robredo, prove to us that you are worth your salary: present to us an ACTUAL analysis that the infrastructure development in the Bicol region or anywhere in the Philippines financed by Chinese or any loan would suffer the same fate as Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port. Eto ang clue Mrs Robredo: If you can demonstrate how the Bicol Express rail system financed by Chinese loan wouldn’t generate economic returns like what happened to Hambantota port, then tama ka. But honey, you have to show it with an actual analysis, hind iyong nag-iisue ka ng mga apocalyptic statements.
In short: Magtrabaho ka!