MANILA, Philippines – Nineteen agreements with Chinese companies were signed during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to China in April for the Belt and Road Forum.
The agreements, if all push through, could bring $12.165 billion (P634 trillion) worth of investments to the Philippines and could provide employment to 21,000 Filipinos, said Malacañang on Friday, April 26.
This is a staggering amount considering that the government's entire budget for 2019 is P3.7 trillion. The Palace does not provide a breakdown of the estimated trillions in investment value.
Earlier that day, Duterte and Cabinet officials attended a forum with Chinese and Filipino businessmen interested in collaborating for ventures in the Philippines or that involve hiring Filipinos or buying Philippine products.
The 19 deals are a mix of memoranda of understanding, memoranda of agreement, purchase agreements, and one contract agreement.
Below is the list of agreements:
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One of the deals is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the "construction and development of a nationwide public wi-fi system."
It was signed by Salvador Zamora III, Tranzen Group chairman, and Luo Ning, chairman of CITIC Network Co Ltd, a Chinese company.
The project is supposed to establish a wi-fi network in "various capital cities and towns" in the Philippines which includes a network that will enable emergency services and information services, digital TV and satellite network services, "smart city" digital and internet services with fiber and wi-fi, and "other telecommunication services."
There was also a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the training of Filipinos to serve as domestic helpers in China.
The MOA to "establish a strategic partnership to train and to introduce Filipino Domestic Helpers to China" was signed by Morrys Ang of the Philippine International Overseas Management Systems, Inc and Gao Wen of Guofa Major Project Management Co Ltd.
Among the more concrete deals signed was a contract agreement for a proposed South Pulangi Hydroelectric Powerplant.
It was signed by Josue Lapitan, president and CEO of Pulangi Hydro Power Corporation. On the Chinese side, it was signed by Dong Bin, chairman of China Energy Co Ltd.
Six agreements involved the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority led by its administrator, Raul Lambino:
Two agreements were actual purchase framework agreements. Chinese company Goodfarmer Foods Holding agreed to buy pineapples from Philippine company PhilPack Corporation from April 1 to December 2019.
China Artest Corporation Fujian Company said it would buy young coconuts from the Philippines' Eng Seng Food Products for an entire year, from March 2019 to March 2020.
Duterte's Special Envoy for China, Fernando "Ding" Borja, is set to fly home with a deal of his own.
His company, Adnama Mining, signed an MOU on the proposed development and operation of an iron processing plant with Chinese companies A Fu Properties and Xiamen C&D. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.