Philippines: Join AIIB, Dump PPP’s & Go Public

Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told the Inquirer last week, published Monday, that the Duterte Administration has called on the Senate to ratify the country’s membership in the Chinese-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) this week, before Duterte’s trip to China at the end of the week. He also said that the government planned to spend $160 billion for infrastructure during the six-year term.

Two weeks ago Dominguez told a Washington audience that were the United States to cut back on its investments in the Philippines, it would be too bad for them but no problem for the Philippines, since many other nations were anxious to invest in the nation, now that it has a pro-growth government.

He said they expected that membership in the AIIB would help “erase the massive public works gap that has hobbled the local economy,” and would “unlock funding for all other projects that the government would want to undertake — whether they be a new rail project, an expansion of the country’s aging road network or new airports.”

The subservience to U.S. imperial looting of the nation since the 1980s overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos has resulted in both mass poverty, a gaping deficit in infrastructure, and the most expensive electricity in all of Asia.

Most importantly, Dominguez made a sharp attack on the Washington-enforced policy known as Public-Private Partnership (PPP), which was a gimmick to leave infrastructure to the private sector, but with access to government money. He said that the Aquino administration (a puppet to Obama, both economically, and militarily regarding Obama’s confrontation with China) “used incorrect borrowing-cost scenarios for evaluating PPP projects, including the assumption that private sector firms would be able to fund infrastructure projects more cheaply because of efficiency considerations. They were always assuming that the private sector will be 15-percent cheaper than the government. Why should that be?” He pointed to specific earlier projects that the government could have done more inexpensively than the private firms.

Dominguez also denounced the Aquino policy of choosing the company for PPP projects which offered the highest payment (bribe) to the government upfront.

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