Let's Make a Beneficial Deal
By Erick San Juan
This week, from October 21 to 24 is the Philippine Russian Business Forum and Exhibition to be held at the Cebu International Conventional Center. This year’s event will highlight products and services related to tourism and wellness, trade promotion and development; mining and energy; education and culture; labor, placement services and outsourcing; retirement facilities and real estate development. Russia is the country’s largest trading partner in Eastern Europe. It is the country’s 23rd trading partner at a global scale with a total trade value of $389.736 million. The country’s export to Russia increased by 15.21 percent reaching $39.086 million last year from $33.93 million recorded a year ago.
I was amazed to know that even last year’s business forum was joined by about 170 local and 30 Russian delegates. Its key achievement was the signing of the Air Service Agreement between Philippines and Russia.
This will be the second forum and according to Panay News report, this will go on for the benefit of both countries. They will allegedly be transparent as possible in their partnership.
Another old partner and neighbor – China, also expressed its support for PNoy’s public-private partnership (PPP) projects for infrastructure particularly in the country’s railway system and also for renewable energy. This is a very promising show of support after what we have gone through since that fateful August 23 incident. The PPP projects that China will invest in are the ones that we need badly, like in our railway system.
Actually, RP has used only one-third of the $1.8 billion loan facility from China’s Export-Import Bank and we can tap this loan anytime for the said projects.
The undertakings of both Russia and China to help boost our economy are the concrete actions that we are hoping this administration will prioritize so that all us will mutually benefit in the process.
We must not be taken for a ride by the rhetorics of some western investors’ pledges that had gone with the wind as PNoy rode the plane back from his recent reported “fruitful” trip. What we need are tangible results and not mere lip service which all Filipinos had too much of it in the past.
According to a statement by IBON Philippines Foundation - the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) signed during Aquino’s US visit “is biased against Philippine national interest and gives way for more erroneous policies that have eroded the local economy”.
The MCA’s US$434-million compact grant agreement of the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) requires the Philippines to meet certain indicators such as open trade, economic freedom, good governance, adherence to human rights, etc. to continue receiving the aid.
We can’t help not to ignore the fact that strings are attached when it comes to Uncle Sam’s aid or grant. They have even enumerated the projects that this fund will go to. Still we must see beyond the rhetorics. Will it benefit the Pinoys more than the US? Or is it the other way around?
The investments in the fields of education and health seems to be not in tune with what this administration had adopted to attain its promise to eradicate poverty. A big section of our population is not agreeable to the additional years in basic education, and now the ever controversial use of contraceptives. We can’t help but ask, are these the instruments towards depopulation? Will this really benefit our people or the globalists’ through the IMF,World Bank,etc?
At the Daily Tribune's Sunday Editorial(Nov. 17,2010), it unmasked the truth about a cabinet secretary of President Noynoy. Despite his being in the president's loop handling a very sensitive post, he remains the governor of World Bank group,ADB and an alternate governor for the IMF for the Philippines. He allegedly facilitated the $434 million Millenium Challenge Corporation grant for "PNoy's anti-poverty program. We were not told that such funds, if it will really be given to this administration will be managed by an appointed IMF resident adviser at the BIR whose stay and payroll will be paid through that grant. The "embedded" IMF team would be reporting directly to the MCC-IMF..So expect more taxes. Our Asian neighbors like China are always there to help us. Even Russia now seems interested in doing business with us. Opportunity knocks only once. PNoy should not look farther away and put his heart for the good of the Filipino people. Now is the time to show greatness and political will.