President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent visit in China will be beneficial to Filipinos as the said trip has brought in $9 billion in new investments that would generate at least 10,000 jobs.
In his speech upon arriving in Davao City following a four-day trip to China and Hong Kong, Duterte said that he emphasized on the trip the Philippines’ bid to generate more investments into the country.
“I stressed our emphasis on infrastructure, innovation and interconnectivity to drive domestic growth. Most importantly, we received support for the Philippines’ plans for inclusive growth and sustainable development,” the President said.
“I underscored the importance of providing a safe, secure and stable environment in the region’s land and waters for economies to thrive,” Duterte added.
Aside from this, China and the Philippines has also sealed a memorandum of understanding which will result on the employment of 2,000 Filipino English-language teachers.
China also gave a 500-million renminbi, or PhP 4-billion grant to the Philippines which he would suggest the Congress to use to build and rehabilitate hospitals in Mindanao.
“We have secured so many billions and that 500 renminbi, that is gratis. No there’s no contract about building a railroad. It’s PhP 4-billion straight gratis,” Duterte pointed out, explaining that the grant from China has no strings attached.
“I would suggest hospitals. The first one is I will repair and equip the hospitals in the south, particularly in Jolo and Basilan. They do not have CT scan, MRI, and competent doctors,” Duterte said.
“Now, they can just read it in a machine and the reading of the X-ray can be done in Manila, by the experts, and they can transmit or convey there, improve diagnosis if there’s a need. And maybe, I will use the funds for medicines. I want to use the funds on those that really, urgently need them immediately,” Duterte explained.
While territorial dispute in the South China Sea was not discussed, Duterte said that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have another bilateral meeting to reaffirm commitments on strengthening relations between countries.
“We both underscored the need for futher intensified cooperation, trade and investments, tourism, agriculture, defense, science and technology and energy, among other things,” Duterte mentioned. “The Philippines will continue to seek the expansion of areas for mutually beneficial collaboration consistent with our laws.”
Duterte said that his recent visit in China is not the right time to discuss the South China Sea dispute, saying that doing so might affect the trip’s main purpose.
“No, it is not the appropriate time to do it. But as I have said, I will discuss it with him. Why willI wreck things?” Duterte said, sharing that Xi himself has offered joint exploration in the said territory.
The President went to China’s Hainan province to attend the Boao Forum for Asia, and visited Hong Kong to meet Filipino workers.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque has earlier disclosed that Xi is expected to visit the Philippines in November, following the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea.