Cayetano: PH's AIIB
membership crucial to sustaining economic growth
By Office of Senator Alan
Peter S. Cayetano
December 6, 2016
PASAY CITY – Senate
foreign relations committee chair Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano
thanked his colleagues in the Senate for supporting the treaty that
would make the Philippines a founding member of the Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Senate on Monday
(December 5) passed on third and final reading Senate Resolution No.
241, or the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure
Investment Bank, which formally ratifies the country’s AIIB entry
documents. The measure got 20 affirmative votes, one negative vote,
and no abstention.
Cayetano’s Foreign Relations
Committee submitted last November 22 Committee Report No. 11
recommending the approval of the resolution of concurrence.
Cayetano said the Senate’s
concurrence with the treaty formalizing the country’s membership into
the China-led multilateral institution will allow the Philippines
access to funds for major infrastructure projects to sustain the
momentum of economic growth that was started by the Duterte
“Any institution that will
promote human development, accelerate economic and social progress,
and further good relations with neighboring nations should be embraced
and supported,” said Cayetano.
He expressed his gratitude
to the Department of Finance led by Sec. Carlos Dominguez III and
their counterparts in the Chinese government for their assistance,
stressing how the treaty could foster a stronger relationship between
the two countries. He also thanked Senator Loren Legarda, sponsor of
the resolution, for making possible the passage of the measure.
Cayetano explained that,
like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB), the AIIB is
a multilateral funding agency owned by sovereign member-countries,
which specifically aims to promote economic development and strengthen
regional cooperation and partnership in the Asian region.
“Our economy has been cited
recently as the fastest growing in the Asian region. We posted a
robust 7.1% growth in the third quarter are on target to achieving a
7-percent full-year GDP growth this year,” he said.
The administration earlier
expressed its plan to raise the government’s share in infrastructure
spending to the gross domestic product (GDP) to 7 percent before
President Rodrigo Duterte's term ends.
Following the Senate’s
concurrence, the executive branch now has the chance to access US$500
million annually from the Bank to finance infrastructure projects in
the country. This, he said, is apart from over $20 billion that China
is prepared to extend to the Philippines after the President's
historic visit to China.
“AIIB’s role as a major
player in infrastructure development in Asia in the future is
inevitable, and the timing of our membership in AIIB cannot be more
perfect as the Philippines is at the point of development where
increasing our infrastructure capacity can no longer be set aside,”
“As Asia’s fastest growing
economy, we surely cannot afford to pass up on this opportunity to be
able to tap an additional fund source to help sustain the economic
progress we have started to gain under the leadership of President
Rodrigo Duterte,” he added.