MANILA, Sept 9 (Mabuhay) — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has filed a resolution urging a ban on the award of government contracts to foreign entities involved in activities that infringe the country’s sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea.
P.S. Resolution No. 507, filed on September 1, states that while the US has already blacklisted several Chinese firms for allegedly being involved in the large-scale reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine government has yet to impose any sanctions despite being directly affected by the aggressive island-building and military buildup.
It added that Chinese enterprises are still securing contracts for major infrastructure projects in the country despite having bad track records for fraudulent activities and direct involvement in the reclamation activities in the disputed waters.
Recto said the Philippine government must be determined to protect national interests against non-traditional threats to national security.
“There is a need to ensure that foreign entities conducting business in the country shall respect and obey Philippine laws, including, and most importantly, laws governing national territory and patrimony,” he added.
After the United States announced punitive measures against at least 24 Chinese companies involved in reclamation activities in the disputed parts of the South China Sea, Locsin said he would recommend the termination of the country’s contracts with these firms, if there are any.
The Palace, however, maintained deals with Chinese contractors and said these would push through to ensure that the administration’s flagship program Build, Build, Build will not be curtailed.
Despite the administration’s position, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon reiterated a call for the government to cancel its contract with a Chinese firm in constructing Sangley Airport, pointing out that the company’s reputation is allegedly marred by fraud and corruption. (MNS)