Watchdog warns vs signing Kaliwa Dam loan deal with China
An economic watchdog on Wednesday warned the Duterte government not to sign the bilateral loan agreement to fund the Kaliwa Dam project during the visit of China President Xi Jin Ping.
The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) said the attached loan conditions had terms that were “patently unfavorable” for the Philippines.
“We fear that in the rush to get the project signed, the legitimate concerns of key stakeholders including indigenous peoples, local government units and local communities are being ignored,“ FDC president Rene Ofreneo said.
For instance, FDC cited the condition of limiting project bidders to only Chinese firms, adding that the country must pursue more favorable loan terms due to the country’s increasing debt.
“This type of ‘tied aid’ often ends up benefiting the creditor country more than the country going into debt,” Ofreneo said.
“At a time when our debt is ballooning due to factors such as the depreciating peso, doesn’t it make sense to exercise more fiscal responsibility by going for the most favorable loan terms available?” he added.
The P12.2-billion Kaliwa Dam project aims to relieve Metro Manila’s dependence on the Angat dam for its drinking water.
The Kaliwa dam will have a 600 million-liter per day capacity and a raw water conveyance tunnel with a 2,400 million-liter capacity. /cbb
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