Robredo: Gov't must be transparent on China loans

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2019 03:06 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo speaks at an event in Manila. The Vice President said on March 10 that the government must be transparent when it comes to its loan deals with China.

MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo said the government must be transparent when it comes to its loan deals with China, as caution grows around the world over debt from Beijing.

"The first step is for the government to inform the public what the terms of agreement are. The Philippines incurs debts not just from China but from other foreign countries as well," Robredo said on the sidelines of an opposition campaign sortie in Hong Kong on Sunday.

"What is important is that our government is transparent as far as the terms of the debts are... If the basis would be the experiences of some countries like Sri Lanka, then we should be wary," she said.

Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino earlier said the Philippines would not give China anything in case of payment default. 

Governments need to be "very careful" when borrowing from China and make sure that they have the capacity to pay, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in Manila last March 7.

Mahathir last year canceled 2 major Chinese government-backed infrastructure projects in his country worth over $20 billion, including a railway and 2 gas pipelines, saying his government might not be able to pay the debt back.