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Press Release - WIN TRANSCRIPT | ANC Headstart interview of Senator Win Gatchalian's with Stanley Palisada on ODA in infrastructure and cybersecurity


Q: So much to talk about this morning, but first, China is losing interest in pursuing infrastructure projects in the Philippines, the Mindanao railway among others. Do you think this is a form of political pressure, especially if we need or you want these projects very badly?

SEN. WIN: Stanley, in my opinion, this is a temporary setback. The most important issue in this deal with China is the feasibility and the financing charges that China is charging us through AIIB. I understand through our research that the interest rates are much higher than the Japan ODA or much higher than the Korean and or other ODAs that are being extended to the Philippines. So the bottom line here is that it's going to be much more costly to us, compared to other ODAs. So in other words, the feasibility of these projects will also be affected. And we will be paying for this. You have to remember, ODAs are still considered loans even though they're concessionary in nature. But they're still considered loans and the taxpayers will pay for it. So besides the geopolitical issues. Bottom line is, it's more expensive compared to other ODAs.

Q: Okay, now, aside from losing interest, China is also citing, well the lingering political tensions with the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea as one of those reasons that are adding up to the burden.... Isn't it time now for the Philippines, you think, to reassess all China funded projects, both the existing ones and those in the pipeline from the previous administration to really rethink our position, see who is benefiting more from these projects and not because you mentioned earlier the interest rates are prohibitive and maybe disadvantageous to the Philippines.

SEN. WIN: I understand, based on our research and also from news reports that none of the China funded projects actually pushed through or either delayed or a lot of them have financing issues meaning interest rates issues, again, we go back to the most important facet in this type of projects, the feasibility of it, and that hinge on the interest rate and the financing cost that is being charged to us. Japan, primarily Japan. Japan World Bank, ADB, these