Philippines still undecided on joining AIIB
(The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Will the Philippines snub China?

Up until yesterday, the Aquino administration had made no decision on whether or not the country would join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which was formally launched on Christmas Day.

The deadline for the signing of the multilateral lender’s Articles of Agreement is on Thursday.

“I have no fresh updates on that,” said Herminio Coloma Jr, secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, in a text message.

Last Dec. 17, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima reiterated the country “has until Dec. 31” to make a decision on AIIB, which was formally launched last Friday in Beijing with 56 official members.

The Philippines is the last prospective founding member (PFM) which has not formally entered the international lender.

“It will come from Malacañang,” National Treasurer Roberto Tan told reporters during the briefing last Dec. 17. 

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose confirmed this yesterday: “The Palace should be able to answer that or the DOF.” The Department of Finance (DOF) would most likely be the agency to sign on behalf of the Philippines.

In a statement, the AIIB said 17 countries which have signed the agreement have also ratified it ahead of the December 2016 deadline. They account for 50.1 percent of the total shares allocated.

These countries were Australia, Austria, Brunei Darussalam, China, Georgia, Germany, Jordan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

“Entry into force under Article 59 of the Articles of Agreement required deposit of (ratification) instruments by at least 10 signatories with at least 50 percent of the shares allocated,” the AIIB said.

AIIB president Jin Liqun hailed the establishment of the bank seen to rival the US-led World Bank and Japan-chaired Asian Development Bank. Japan and the US opted out of the AIIB.

“AIIB will offer an innovative financing platform tailored to Asia’s infrastructure financing needs today, and those of future generations,” Liqun said.

Purisima said Liqun himself followed up the Philippines’ membership with him when they met in Singapore last October. He and Chinese President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, did not talk about it during last month’s meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Manila.

“There’s no incentive for those who signed or joined earlier. We are taking all the time we need to make a decision,” Purisima said.

Analysts have blamed the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China for the former’s qualms on joining the AIIB. President Aquino himself had expressed concern the bank may be used by China for its political agenda.

The Philippines is locked with China into a territorial spat involving islands in the West Philippine Sea. The Southeast Asian nation’s case against Asia’s largest economy is being heard by the Permanent Court or Arbitration at The Hague.

Liqun stressed the country only has until Thursday to participate.

“The Articles of Agreement remain open for signing by PFMs until December 31, 2015,” he said.

 

ACIRC AIIB ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK BEIJING BRUNEI DARUSSALAM CHARLES JOSE CHRISTMAS DAY LIQUN
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with