Consider the US in ‘Build, build, build’ program, PH urged
The Philippines should see the United States as a “very positive alternative” in helping meet the country’s infrastructure needs, a US official said.
US Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh said in a forum on Wednesday that the government’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) infrastructure development program complements US and Japanese efforts in the region.
“We want the Philippines, or the Philippine government to know, that there are alternatives,” she said.
It is not clear if this is a reference to the country’s warmer ties to China, especially since the latter has been playing a significant role in the Philippines’ BBB strategy.
The Duterte administration has been strengthening the country’s ties with China, seeking economic benefits while taking a softer stance on the territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea.
“There are many alternatives when looking to fulfill the infrastructure needs, and we certainly hope you will look to the United States as a very positive alternative,” she added.
She said the BBB program was a “perfect complement” to the US Indo-Pacific strategy, as well as with Japanese interests in the region.
She added that the BBB program highlighted the need for better infrastructure, better cyber systems, and energy development.
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