The territorial issue on the West Philippine Sea has no impact on the ongoing infrastructure cooperation between Manila and Beijing, the Department of Finance said Wednesday.
The DoF said the big-ticket infrastructure and development projects to be rolled out by the Philippines in cooperation with China were proceeding as discussed during the regular high-level meetings between the two countries, with an initial three loan accords due for signing before the year-end.
“The topic of joint [oil] exploration was never raised in our discussions with our counterparts particularly during loan negotiations and processing of new loans, even during the bilateral meetings/ high-level meetings with this office,” the DOF said in a statement.
It issued the statement to debunk alleged false claims published online about a Chinese embassy official supposedly using China’s offers of loans and grants to force the Philippines to agree to a joint exploration deal in the West Philippine Sea.
“This is a grossly malicious claim without any basis,” the DoF said. “There is no link whatsoever between the Chinese loans and grants and the proposed joint oil exploration deal between the two countries.”