PH gov’t media gets P136-M aid from China

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte will return Thursday night from his fruitful trip to China, bringing home over PHP3 billion worth of economic and infrastructure assistance including 17 million renminbi (PHP136 million) aid for the government media.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Chinese government had expressed commitment to help the infrastructure development of broadcasting system in the Philippines.

“It is a very good indication that China is very committed to helping our government media in the Philippines in improving its services,” Andanar said in a media briefing in Hong Kong on Wednesday night.

Andanar said Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua told him that another PHP100 million “will be on its way” for the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), an attached agency of the PCOO.

Aside from broadcast equipment assistance, Andanar said Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned during his bilateral meeting with Duterte the importance of boosting media exchange between the Philippines and China.

“So this only means that the scholarship that China has been giving to the Philippines specifically to the members of government media will continue for the next four years,” Andanar said.

He said one of the major goals of the Duterte administration is to improve the government media particularly PTV, Radyo Pilipinas, Philippine News Agency and the Philippine Information Agency.

Duterte is scheduled to arrive from Hong Kong early Friday morning at Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.

Before going to Hong Kong where he met the Filipino communities, Duterte attended the Boao Forum for Asia and held a bilateral meeting with Xi in Hainan, China on Tuesday.

In his address at the Boao Forum, Duterte stressed the need to further strengthen globalization and speed up trade liberalization to benefit more people.

Apart from the PHP3.8 billion economic and infrastructure assistance, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said nine Chinese private companies have signed letters of intent to explore business opportunities estimated to reach USD9.5 billion in the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained the PHP3.8 billion is part of the bilateral agreements between the two governments while the USD9.5 billion are private investments.

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