Senate okays PHL membership in China-led AIIB

The Senate on Monday approved on its final reading the ratification of Articles of Agreement of the China-led international financial institution, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Senate Resolution No. 241 was passed on third reading with 20 affirmative votes, one negative vote from Senator Risa Hontiveros and zero abstention.

The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and co-sponsored by Sen. Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on the AIIB ratification.

Hontiveros, in a privilege speech, explained that she cast a negative vote noting that the Philippines should first verify whether the loan agreements the country has entered into with these institutions are in accordance with the principles on responsible sovereign lending and borrowing published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

"Before joining another international financial institution, I strongly urge that the Congressional Oversight Committee on Overseas Development Assistance conduct a debt audit to verify whether the loan agreements our country has entered into are legitimate," Hontiveros said.

"The Agreement considers the importance of regional cooperation to sustain growth and promote economic and social development of the economies in Asia and thereby contribute to regional resilience against potential financial crises and other external shocks in the context of globalization," the resolution said.

It further stated that the Agreement "realizes that the considerable long-term need for financing infrastructure development in Asia will be met more adequately by a partnership among existing multilateral development banks and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank."

The AIIB is formed by 57-founding member states like China, India, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Philippines signed the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank last December 31, 2015 in China.

President Rodrigo Duterte himself ratified the Agreement last October 19 and accordingly submitted it to the Senate for concurrence, in accordance with the 1987 Constitution. (

Source: Philippines News Agency

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