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Duterte: ‘Dead or alive’ reward system taken from Americans
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  Foreign Affairs Secretary ,Perfecto Yasay Jr. , President Rodrigo Duterte ,joint military exercises , treaty ally, United States, Philippines , warship , territorial waters,exclusive economic zone , Philippine Airlift Wing , “war games” , Filipino community ,Mutual Defense Act of 1951,   Visiting Forces Agreement , National Security Adviser ,Hermogenes Esperon

Foreign Affairs Secretary ,Perfecto Yasay Jr. , President Rodrigo Duterte ,joint military exercises , treaty ally, United States, Philippines , warship , territorial waters,exclusive economic zone , Philippine Airlift Wing , “war games” , Filipino community ,Mutual Defense Act of 1951, Visiting Forces Agreement ,
National Security Adviser ,Hermogenes Esperon

BEIJING, Oct 20 (Mabuhay) – President Rodrigo Duterte said the idea of implementing the “dead or alive” reward system was from the Americans.

During a meeting with the Filipino community at a hotel on Wangfujing Street in China’s capital, Duterte once again lashed out at the critics of his war on drugs and his manner of speaking, which they believe incite violence and encourage extrajudicial killings.

The President defended the law enforcement procedures implemented amid his war on drugs, which resulted in deaths of over 1,000 drug suspects.

He said the police know the rules of engagement.

But he underscored that some of the law enforcement practices were taken from western influences.

“Iyang reward, dead or alive. It is not even ours. It is not a language of the Filipinos. Sinong nagturo niyan? The Americans? Where? Iyong mga cowboy nila. Billy the Kid, dead or alive, oh 50 dollars,” Duterte claimed as he criticized the United States once again.

“Ang problema nitong Amerikano, kung sila ang gumamit niyan, persons of interest which are actually you are being hunted and if you offer a resistance just like the bomber, they will kill you. And when we use it because we’re not Americans and they want us to be more inferior than them, they will hunt for you and threaten you with an international court, criminal court, justice,” the President said.

What came next were tirades against American and an explanation that there would never be a let up on his war against drugs.

“When was it wrong to say ‘Do not do it to my country because I will kill you, do not harm the next generation,’” Duterte said. (MNS)

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After 6 years, Sam Milby to bring a date at Star Magic Ball
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Sam Milby (MNS photo)

Sam Milby (MNS photo)

MANILA, Oct 20 (Mabuhay) — After six years of being single, actor Sam Milby will finally have a date at the Star Magic Ball.

Milby said he is excited to attend the star-studded event with his special someone. The 10th Star Magic Ball will happen on October 22.

“I’m happy to say that I will have a date for sure,” said Milby, who is now dating blogger-TV host Mari Jasmine.

“After six years, mayroon akong date (I finally have a date after six years),” he added.

Before Jasmine, the last time Milby was in a relationship was with actress Anne Curtis. Their much-publicized breakup happened in 2009, and Milby admits he had a hard time moving on from it.(MNS)

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CA confirms appointments of ES Medialdea, DND chief Lorenzana
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CA APPROVES APPOINTMENT OF MEDIALDEA AND LORENZANA: Senate President and Commission on Appointments (CA) Chairperson Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (3rd from left) and San Juan Representative and CA Vice-Chairman Ronaldo Zamora (left) joins Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (2nd from left) and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (right) whose ad interim appointments were confirmed during plenary session, Wednesday, October 19, 2016.(MNS photo)

CA APPROVES APPOINTMENT OF MEDIALDEA AND LORENZANA: Senate President and Commission on Appointments (CA) Chairperson Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (3rd from left) and San Juan Representative and CA Vice-Chairman Ronaldo Zamora (left) joins Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (2nd from left) and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (right) whose ad interim appointments were confirmed during plenary session, Wednesday, October 19, 2016.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Oct 19 (Mabuhay) — The bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the ad interim appointments of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Medialdea breezed through the CA plenary, just a few hours after his appointment was approved at the committee level in less than two minutes, with no questions from panel members.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon, a former Executive Secretary himself during the administration of the late former President Corazon Aquino, described the post as a “snake pit.”

“Luckily, because of the size of Secretary Medialdea, it is not easy to be devoured. Hindi siya lalamunin, talagang magaling ‘yan,” Drilon said.

Drilon said Medialdea possessed the qualities of competence and integrity, which his job required.

Senator Ralph Recto, who also supported the confirmation of Medialdea, said he has known the Executive Secretary for 35 years, and that apart from his discipline to deliver on what is expected from him, he also has down-to-earth humility and disarming humor.

“[The ES should be able] to do heavy but unheralded labor; to endlessly chase papers but never publicity; to run a tight ship, including whipping the egos of alter egos into line,” Recto said.

“I had the pleasure of meeting BingBong Medialdea about 35 years and 35 pounds ago. My impressions then as now are the same. He’s got what it takes to do the job,” the senator added.

Senator Gringo Honasan meanwhile seconded the confirmation of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza.

“I can attest to his integrity, professional competence, and love of God, country and family,” said Honasan, a former Army officer.

Also confirmed by the CA were the appointments of Philippe Jones Lhuillier, ambassador to Spain; Antonio Lagdameo, ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Alan Timbayan, ambassador to Qatar, and Charles Jose, ambassador to Malaysia. (MNS)

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Pedrozo: Police driver was attacked, had no intention of hurting rallyists
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Protesters lie on the ground after being hit by a police van during a rally against the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in front of the US embassy in Manila on Wednesday. A Philippine police van rammed and ran over the protesters. (MNS photo)

Protesters lie on the ground after being hit by a police van during a rally against the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in front of the US embassy in Manila on Wednesday. A Philippine police van rammed and ran over the protesters. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Oct 20 (Mabuhay) — Relieved Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo of the Manila Police District on Thursday defended the police officer seen on video ramming protesters with his vehicle in front of the US Embassy on Wednesday.

Pedrozo said the police driver was being attacked by rallyists and could not see anything as he tried to move the vehicle away from the protesters.

Pedrozo said the police officer, identified as PO3 Franklin Kho, was attempting to save the vehicle after he heard protesters saying they will burn all police vehicles in the area.

“Ang nangyari po diyan, sir, actually hindi naman po talaga siya yung driver. Ang nakita po nila, nung ongoing po ang negotiation namin, sinisira po nila yung mobile cars namin, pinipinturahan at may narinig pa raw po siya na susunugin po yung mobile cars, tinutumba po nila yung mobile cars,” Pedrozo said.

“Dahil gusto po niya i-save yung mobile cars natin, sumakay po siya, tapos hinabol po siya ng mga raliyista, sumakay po siya,” Pedrozo said.

However, Pedrozo said the driver became frantic when the rallyists began to attack him.

“Habang nagda-drive po siya, pinagpapapalo po siya ng mga raliyista, binabasag po yung salamin kaya nakayuko po siya, hindi na raw po niya makita kung ano po yung nangyayari,” Pedrozo said.

“Parang ang nangyari po, nawala po siya, nataranta po siya, hindi na po niya alam kung ano ang gagawin niya. Yun po ang statement niya,” he added.

The driver claimed that he was crouching as he tried to drive the police car away from the area and did not see the rallyists blocking his way.

“Nakita nyo naman po sa video footage talagang binabasag ang salamin niya, pinapalo siya kaya ang response po niya yumuyuko po siya, hindi po niya alam ang gagawin niya. Discretion niya po yan hindi ko po alam kung ano po ang nararamdaman niya,” Pedrozo said.

“Talagang ang intensyon niya is tanggalin yung mobile dahil accountability po niya yung mobile na yon,” he added.

Pedrozo insisted that the policeman, had no intention of hurting the rallyists.

“Wala po kaming intensyon [na manakit], wala po sa aming procedure yan. Ang gusto lang daw po niya yung extricate, tanggalin po yung mobile cars dun sa harap ng embassy. Yun lang po ang naging paliwanag po ng ating driver,” he said.

Pedrozo said when he was in the area where the incident happened, there were no injuries on the part of the rallyists.

“Sa totoo lang naman po nung nandoon kami nung time na yon wala naman po talagang medyo injuries na nangyari talagang nandoon naman po kami na walang injuries, walang nagulungan ng gulong,” he said.

Pedrozo said if the driver intended to hurt rallyists, he would have finished them off. “Yung driver na yan kung may intensyon po silang sagasaan dapat tinuluyan niya po yung ano…,” he said, without finishing this statement.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, former chief of the Philippine National Police, defended the driver, saying, “That was a judgment call made by one policeman behind the wheel of a police van who might have felt threatened by the possibility of being lynched by the protesters, and who impulsively drove the van wherever he could to avoid the dire consequences of his inaction.”

Saying it was unfair to accuse the police of brutality, Lacson said, “It was a personal judgment call of the driver of the van. Maximum tolerance or not, he acted based on his appreciation of the situation prevailing at the time he made that move.”

Pedrozo also said he noticed that the rallyists seemed “well-prepared” to carry out a violent protest action.

“Nakita naman po sa mga footage natin, unang-una pa lang sila na po agad ang sumugod. May plano po talaga silang manggulo, mag-vandalize, manakit ng pulis at magsira at for the first time nakakita ako ng rally na sinira po nila ang mga mobile cars at properties namin,” he said.

“Nagulat din po kami, so parang may plano po talaga, matindi po ang plano nila na talagang meron po silang ibang motibo, in bad faith na nakita po namin,” he added.

Pedrozo said he has been assigned to the MPD for a long time but had not witnessed a protest action as violent as what had happened on Wednesday.

He also said they did not expect the rallyists to attack policemen.

“Talagang nilusob nila kami, binuwag po ang linya, hindi po namin ineexpect sa kanila yon dahil may mga leaders naman po sila. Normally po ang gagawin lang po namin haharangan namin sila tapos makikiusap po sila na makalapit sa embassy, tapos po magho-hold lang po sila ng program,” he said.

“Pero itong nangyari po, talagang nilusob po nila agad ang mga pulis, binuwag po yon tapos vinandalize po nila ang embassy tapos sinaktan po nila ang mga pulis at winasak po ang mobile cars namin,” he added.

As for the policemen who were caught on video hurting the driver of the jeepney that carried rallyists, Pedrozo said these cops are already under investigation.

“Yan po ang iniimbestigahan po natin dahil po beyond na yon sa nangyari. Ang instruction lang po natin is to push them back dahil nandoon po sila mismo sa ano…ang instruction ko po diyan ang wag po tayong bubuwag sa linya po natin,” he said.

“Ang nangyari lang po talaga is very well prepared po ang mga raliyista, well prepared po sila, may dala na po silang bato, may dala po silang pamalo, may dala silang pintura para pinturahan po yung US Embassy, yun lang po ang nakita ko sa kanila, well prepared po sila sa action nila,” he added.

Pedrozo claimed that he did not order a violent dispersal but admitted that he became angry as he was shocked over what happened.

“Kasi po na-shock po talaga ako, nagulat po ako sa nangyari, yung mga pulis po, yung mga babae, sugatan, nawasak na po yung ibang mobile cars,” he said.

On news videos, Pedrozo was heard telling policemen to fight, saying, “Wala man lang kayong hinuli, ang dami-dami niyan… Magkagulo na kung magkagulo, pulis tayo rito, e. Pwede ba tayong patalo sa mga yan? Anong mukhang ihaharap natin sa embassy? Kaya i-disperse mo ‘yan.”

Pedrozo said, “Bilang supervisor ang gusto ko po ma-encourage sila na talagang idepensa po yon, i-maintain po yung peace and order.Syempre bilang supervisor, gusto ko po na maiayos po ang aming hanay na hindi watak-watak dahil ang nangyari nga po talagang nabuwag ng mga raliyista.”

Pedrozo said they are prepared to answer whatever charges that would be filed against them.

“We will answer for any lapses. Talagang sasagutin naman po namin yan pero para po sa Manila Police District ginawa lang po namin kung ano po ang aming tungkulin,” he said.

“Ni wala naman po kaming baril doon, all of us wala po kaming firearms, we’re just depending on our shield at batuta. Ang mga kalaban po namin may mga bato, may mga pamalo,” he added. (MNS)

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PHL will not enter into new military alliances nor break old ones: Duterte
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U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brian Johnson discusses helicopter insert and extract procedures with Philippine soldiers as they prepare for Balikatan 2014 on Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, April 29, 2014. This is the 30th year of the exercise, which provides U.S.-Philippine military training and humanitarian assistance. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brian Johnson discusses helicopter insert and extract procedures with Philippine soldiers as they prepare for Balikatan 2014 on Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, April 29, 2014. This is the 30th year of the exercise, which provides U.S.-Philippine military training and humanitarian assistance. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

BEIJING, Oct 20 (Mabuhay) – Do not expect the Philippines to enter into new military alliances, said President Rodrigo Duterte during his four-day state visit in China.

Speaking before members of the Filipino media at a hotel on Wednesday, the President pointed out that he does not intend to break old ones.

“There will be no military alliances entered into. There will be no military alliances broken. What I am just saying is that we are not interested in adding fuel to what is already a volatile world,” he answered, after he was asked about a possible military alliance with Beijing.

“When I said that there is no such thing as allowing the missiles there or missiles there, I would not allow it.  And I have repeatedly said, anybody who wants to think about or talk about Third World war and even a conflict on a regional level, low intensity thing, it would not promote anything. I am not into that,” the President said.

Duterte also warned of consequences should conflicts among countries with nuclear weapon intensify.

“And if you talk about America, Russia, vis-à-vis China, Great Britain, France, Iran, Pakistan, India, there is a conflict going on, it’s getting hot. And if you think that if those nuclear bombs will explode at the same time, then we might not be able to board our last men out of China because it will just simply end the world,” he said.

“So what’s the point of talking about…Why should I borrow missiles or ask for nuclear bomb? For what? They were just crazy people who would want to pull a stack on a matter of national pride,” Duterte said of getting new military alliances.

Also at an earlier event, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. did not mince words when asked about the possibility of getting armaments during the China trip.

“We are not talking of war here. We are talking of peace. Come on. Dissociate that from your mind. We are interdependent of every nation all over the world so far as our economic development is concerned. That’s the nature of things,” he explained.

“In fact, military alliances—especially so we are able to find solutions in making sure that the peace of the world would be assured, we will not probably (be) relying on military alliances anymore. And that should be our objective,” Yasay stressed. (MNS)

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SUBARU ANNOUNCES PRICING ON ALL-NEW 2017 IMPREZA MODELS
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17cl_imp_4c_af37567_032921__mid

  • First Impreza built in the U.S.
  • Sedan and 5-door Models offering up to 38mpg
  • New Subaru Global Platform
  • 2.0-liter Boxer Engine with Direct Injection
  • Enhanced Safety, Comfort and Agility, priced $100 over previous model
Cherry Hill, N.J. –  Subaru of America, Inc. today announced pricing on the all-new 2017 Impreza sedan and 5-door models. The Impreza debuts the new Subaru Global Platform that is designed to deliver significantly higher levels of driving engagement, interior refinement, crash protection and ride comfort. As with previous generations, every Impreza is equipped standard with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a SUBARU BOXER® engine. Pricing begins just $100 over previous model year at $18,395.The 2017 Subaru Impreza will be offered in four trim levels: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Sport and 2.0i Limited when it arrives at Subaru retailers. Models equipped with Subaru’s Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission will arrive late 2016 while 5-speed manual models will be available in early 2017.

The 2.0i starts with an extensive roster of standard features including a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen; Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™compatibility, power windows with auto up/down on both driver and passenger sides; 60/40-split fold-down rear seat; power door locks and side mirrors; multi-function display with fuel economy information; tilt and telescoping steering column; security system with engine immobilizer; carpeted floor mats; and more.

The $21,195  Premium trim adds SUBARU STARLINK™ Safety and Security features, 16-inch alloy wheels, the All-Weather Package featuring heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer, and heated exterior mirrors as well as automatic headlights. Premium 5-door Imprezas also feature standard roof rails (not available on 2.0i or 5-door Impreza 2.0i Sport). Stepping up to the Premium trim also brings wider option availability, including a power moonroof and driver assist technology systems.

The new Subaru Global Platform, together with the SUBARU BOXER®engine; Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD); and EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, represent the brand’s core technologies and constitutes the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles. Impreza’s new platform incorporates a redesigned structure with optimized cross sections and highly stiffened joints between sections to significantly enhance straight-line stability, agility, and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration, and harshness to a degree not seen in the compact class. Specifically, the new platform increases rigidity of the unitized body structure by over 70 percent.

Taking full advantage of the new stiffer platform and more powerful engine, the Impreza 2.0i Sport, available in sedan and 5-door, delivers a more fun-to-drive performance feel thanks to exclusive suspension tuning, 18-inch machine-finish alloy wheels and Active Torque Vectoring. Subaru aimed for a new ride/handling balance benchmark in the compact segment. Sport models are priced from $21,995.

Exclusive exterior styling and features setting the Impreza Sport apart include standard LED daytime running lights (DRL), black-finish front grille, body-color rocker panels, and turn signal side mirrors. The Impreza Sport 5-Door features gloss black rear gate trim, while the Sport Sedan has a rear trunk spoiler. Inside the Sport, unique black cloth upholstery is trimmed with red stitching, a motif that repeats for the steering wheel, gear shift, instrument panel, and door trim. The instrument panel incorporates exclusive Sport gauges and a Multi-Function Display.

The Sport comes well equipped, with upgrades over the Impreza Premium that include the SUBARU STARLINK™ 8.0-inch Multimedia system, and a new Harman/Kardon® premium audio system is available. Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, aluminum pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift handle, and a CVT shift boot round out the Sport’s enhanced standard when equipped with CVT.

A revised version of the FB 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine gains direct fuel injection and other enhancements to boost both performance (now 152-hp vs. 148 before) and drivability. In highline trims, the Lineartronic®CVT (continuously variable transmission) features a 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters that allow the driver to control the transmission via seven pre-set ratios. The new Impreza continues to be one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive compact sedans in America offering up to 38mpg highway on CVT models. Manual transmission model and mpg will be available in early 2017.

Impreza Model City Highway Combined
2.0i Sedan CVT 28 38 32
2.0i Sport Sedan CVT 27 36 30
2.0i 5-Door CVT 28 37 31
2.0i Sport 5-Door 27 35 30

Subaru designed the 2017 Impreza to provide even higher levels of safety than the outgoing model, which was named an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ (when equipped with available EyeSight). The new platform underpinning the 2017 Impreza improves crash energy absorption by 40 percent over present models.

The EyeSight system includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Lane Departure and Sway Warning.  Blind Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available. Also new are available Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them, and High Beam Assist, which automatically activates and deactivates the high beam headlamps based on driving conditions. All 2017 Impreza models include, as standard equipment, front seat side impact airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag.

The 2017 Impreza adds additional driver-assist technologies, including Reverse Automatic Braking and the display of steering lines for the standard rear vision camera. Reverse Automatic Braking can apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing. A new 4-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System can detect pressure drops at individual wheels.

Subaru has elevated the Limited trim for the 2017 Impreza into more luxurious territory. The exterior looks more upscale with LED headlights and distinctive “Konoji” LED daytime running lights (DRL) and standard 17-inch machine finished alloy wheels. Judicious use of exterior chrome trim and turn signal side mirrors add a touch of elegance. Limited trim Imprezas begin at $24,095.

The Limited’s leather trimmed interior features contrast stitching on the door armrests and instrument panel, and the 6-way power driver’s seat is the first ever in an Impreza. Standard amenities include an automatic climate control system, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start and 8-inch STARLINK Multimedia audio unit. The exclusive instrument panel features white gauge cluster illumination, and new Harman/Kardon® premium audio is available in the Impreza for the first time. Models equipped with EyeSight also include High Beam Assist.  Lastly, the available navigation system now features maps provided by TomTom.

SUBARU STARLINK™ Multimedia systems offer the latest in digital music playing, Bluetooth® wireless capability, iPod® control, smartphone integration and more. The display screen acts as the display for the standard rear vision camera, and the top-level system includes navigation.

SUBARU STARLINK™ Connected Services comes with the Safety Plus package that offers SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report, and Diagnostic Alerts. This package can be upgraded to the Safety Plus & Security Plus package that adds Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.

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Why China pivot?: $18B exports, $6B investments, $10B loans, 3-M Chinese tourists expected, development of renewable energy
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President Duterte shakes hands with a Chinese military official: President Rodrigo R. Duterte shakes hands with a Chinese military official upon his arrival at the Beijing Capital International Airport on Monday (Oct. 17, 2016). (PNA photo by Toto Lozano/PPD/PNA)

President Duterte shakes hands with a Chinese military official: President Rodrigo R. Duterte shakes hands with a Chinese military official upon his arrival at the Beijing Capital International Airport on Monday (Oct. 17, 2016). (PNA photo by Toto Lozano/PPD/PNA)

MANILA, Oct. 19 (PNA) — The Philippines’ current pivot to China concerns trade and not aids, with USD18 billion in export deals, USD6 billion foreign direct investments (FDI), some USD10 billion ODA loans for railways and the prospect of about 3 million tourists, and modern technology for renewable energy.

Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda articulated this perspective and said President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China, at the invitation by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is hailed by many as a game changing pivot in trade and investment.

A noted economist, Salceda, in a recent TV interview said China is officially listed as third largest trading partner of the Philippines with about USD17 billion investment in the country, next to ASEAN with USD18 billion and Japan as the largest with USD21 billion.

Contrary to common perceptions, he said the US comes only as the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner, with USD16 billion investments.

If informal trading is considered, he pointed out, China emerges as the Philippine’s largest partner, with about USD32 billion, and such massive trade relations do not benefit from protection nor promotion.

He added that trading between the Philippines and China concerns mostly undeclared and undervalued commodities, resulting to trade imbalance of USD5 billion annually (USD11 billion import and USD6 billion export) that should be rectified, between the USD17 billion official and the USD12 billion informal trades.

Salceda said a stronger bilateral relations with China, more like the existing Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, could easily yield additional PHP72 billion in import VAT from “smuggled goods,” the undeclared and underdeclared commodities.

The Philippines, he added, can further benefit under stronger economic ties, since trade restructuring would require China investments in the Philippines, especially because our country has currently a resident investments amounting to USD6 billion in China.

“The Philippines needs China’s capacity for infrastructure, especially in the transport and power sectors for railways development and renewable energy, respectively, and its advance technology for agriculture and manufacturing. The railways loan could be secured through the Official Development Assistance (ODA),” he explained.

Tourism is another industry that the two countries can strike cooperation in, through bilateral agreements, with China’s 500 million tourists, only some 432,000 of which came to the Philippines in 2015, he said.

Citing experiences when he was Albay governor and had opened the Xiamen—Albay international flight, Salceda said Chinese tourists trooped in droves to his province at a rate of some 30,000 persons a month, with so much purchasing power, buying local items by the dozen.

With strong trade ties to China, he said the Philippines can also hop in on the upcoming “Belt and Road” plan, a multi-billion dollar initiative aimed at linking Asia with Europe and Africa, and the countries in between them.

The plan, formerly known as “One Belt, One Road,” brings together the land-side Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road developments with China as major player, with the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank.

The Silk Road Economic Belt connects China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe (the Baltic), linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean through Central Asia and West Asia, and connecting China with Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Through China, he pointed out, these links will give the Philippines direct access to the ‘new bloc’ known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).

Salceda said Duterte’s current stance has awaken Filipinos from their “cognitive dissonance” with the US, and which on the whole, assumes a “more structural adjustments towards equidistant relations” with all economic powers, among them China and the US.

 

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