Friday, February 22, 2008

ZTE warns Philippines of foreign investment slowdown due to NBN cancellation

It seems that ZTE is now speaking for the Chinese government and other foreign governments as it issues a warning that the cancellation of the National Broadband Network could lead to a slowdown in foreign investments in the Philippines.

Kabayan! Tinatakot tayo nitong mga dayuhang ito! Ano ba ang masasabi ninyo? Kapag hindi daw natuloy ang NBN deal, matitigil ang foreign investments sa Pilipinas. Anak ng tokwa! Eto na nga at nagkakagulo na ang bansa natin dahil sa korupsyon, nangungulit pa ang mga hinayupak na ito at gustong ituloy ang overpriced na deal nila kay Abalos at Big Boy! Puro pera lang ang nakikita.
Philippine ZTE Scandal to Affect Foreign Investment
The cancellation of a national broadband network threatens the confidence of investors from China and other countries, says Chinese gearmaker ZTE

by Melvin G. Calimag

China's network equipment maker ZTE, last week issued a strongly worded statement noting that the cancellation of the national broadband network (NBN) contact "will not only play down the confidence of companies from China, but also from other countries to invest in the Philippines".

The Philippine government in April 2007 awarded CTE a US$300 million-contract to build a broadband network to connect all government agencies and offices across the country. The project was later scrapped after allegations emerged that the deal had benefited high-ranking officials through commissions and kickbacks.

"This episode certainly brings unforeseeable negative influence on bilateral economic co-operations between China and Philippines," ZTE said. "So far, almost every project undertaken by Chinese companies has been put into inequitable suspicion, including agricultural project, tele-education project, railway projects, power plant project and elevated highway project in Manila."

Someone ought to haul these ZTE officials over to the Philippine Senate and get them to explain why it was necessary for them to bribe Filipino government officials into signing a deal which would force 80 million Filipinos to pay over $300 Million.

If these ZTE SOBs weren't so pre-occupied with money and only money, perhaps they would see the social irresponsibility -- not to mention the immorality -- of pressuring the Philippine government to push through with the NBN deal given the fact that a number of its high ranking officials are facing allegations of corruption in connection with the deal.

Maybe, if they were truly keen on having the NBN deal push through, they should:
  1. Help the Philippine government fight corruption by naming the Filipino officials who had received bribes from them.
  2. Reduce the total project cost of the NBN deal by half or to $130 Million, since this -- according to NBN whistleblower Jun Lozada -- is the approximate real market value of the project.
And as for other foreign investors, the NBN deal is a signal for them not to deal with Filipino officials who ask for bribes or kickbacks or any form of payment, other than what is required by Philippine law.

The scuttling of the NBN deal is actually a positive sign that foreign companies who are pursuing business in the Philippines using unethical and immoral means are not WELCOME.

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