‘Cost of PH’s virus response should be charged to China’
Sen. Risa Hontiveros says China’s reclamation operations and illegal fishing activities in the West Philippine Sea are still ongoing despite the coronavirus pandemic. ABS-CBN NEWS MANILA – The cost of Philippines’coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response should be charged to the Chinesegovernment as a reparation for the damage it caused on the West PhilippineSea’s reef ecosystem, according to Sen. Risa Hontiveros. “The government already has a huge budget deficit because of COVID-19. China’s ongoing disregard for our own resources will worsen our economic standing. The government should demand what is rightfully ours and use this to help the Filipino people battle COVID-19,” Hontiveros said./PN “China has been damaging our ecosystems for over six years now, which means our losses could already amount to over 200 billion pesos. This money could be used to fund our health and economic plans as we transition to a new normal,” Hontiveros said. “This money is past due and could go to government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic,” the opposition senator added. Hontiveros also said in her statement that China’s reclamation operations and illegal fishing activities in the West Philippine Sea are still ongoing despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the destruction of reefs in the Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands is equivalent to at least P33.1 billion in losses annually, citing the data from the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute.