COLMENARES SAYS PINOY WORKERS JUST AS SKILLED AS CHINESE WORKERS IN CHICO RIVER PROJECT
Belying the government’s justification for hiring Chinese workers for the P4.37-billion Chico River Irrigation Pump Project, Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares said Filipino construction workers and professionals are just as skilled and qualified as the Chinese.
“The National Irrigation Administration’s argument for hiring Chinese workers is disappointing and quite frankly unacceptable. Filipino construction workers and engineers are know all over the world for their skill and good work ethic. To say they can’t qualify, or that Chinese workers are better for a relatively simple infrastructure project like this, is ridiculous,” said Colmenares.
“The real reason for hiring those Chinese workers is because the project funder is China, who requires a Chinese contractor, who in turn would rather hire their own people and use Chinese equipment and technology to bring the money back to China,” he pointed out.
“This is precisely why we are opposing the loan contract for this project, because it ties us down to many lopsided conditions favourable to China,” Colmenares stressed.
“But even if NIA says no Filipinos can replace these highly skilled Chinese, that is still very doubtful because Chinese contractors have a bad track record,” said Colmenares.
“For example there is the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka that went ahead with its grand opening even though a huge boulder was left in the port entrance preventing large ships from coming in. It was constructed by a Chinese contractor named China Harbour and when they blasted the boulder they went on to renegotiate the China loan at evem more disadvantageous rates for Sri Lanka,” said the Makabayan senatorial candidate.
“While Ecuador’s Coca Codo Sinclair Dam which was constructed by the Sinohydro corporation under an active volcano, only took two years after opening, when thousands of cracks are splintering the dam’s machinery. Its reservoir is clogged with silt, sand and trees. And the only time engineers tried to throttle up the facility completely, it shook violently and shorted out the national electricity grid,” he added.
“Makikita sa mga nagawa ng mga Chinese conttactors sa ibang bansa na di gaanong mapagkakatiwalaan ang kanilang mga itinayong istruktura. Hindi pa kasama dyan na kinukuha nila ang trabaho na dapat ay mga Filipino ang nakikinabang,” said the progressive leader.
“In light of this we are urging the Supreme Court to declare the Chico river project China loan as unconstitutional and not just save jobs Filipino workers but may even save lives as well,” ended Colmenares.###