ANGELES CITY – Inang Laya, a group based here that fashions itself as the “conscience of the Filipino people” and “purely driven by love of country,” is sounding the alarm bell for what it calls “Chinese intrusion into Philippine territory.”
Jose P. Mercado, Inang Laya spokesman, said “the Chinese grip on Philippine soil has become even tighter with the entry of its P9-billion investment at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone even as it lays claim to other Philippine territories.”
Inang Laya’s observations, which were contained in a statement over the weekend signed by Mercado, also lambasted the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) board of directors for their “incompetence” for “falling into the Chinese ploy at the expense of our national patrimony and security.”
Recent news indicates that China’s Panhua Group Co. Ltd. will engage in the pre-painting of steel coils and metal sheets and other allied industries for export and domestic trade at the Subic Freeport. SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia confirmed that the board of directors approved Panhua’s proposal on its 258th board meeting in February 2014.
The news item said the Panhua Group is also engaged in shipping, real estate, mining, steel manufacturing and logistics business in China. Garcia even proudly said “the entry of Panhua in Subic attests to the growing attractiveness of the country to foreign investments.”
But Inang Laya lambasted Garcia and the BOD for failing to consider the “bullying of China” in its territorial disputes with its neighbors particularly the Philippines. Inang Laya said “China now can expand its mining right on Philippine soil clothed with legitimacy by the half-witted SBMA board.”
The group said with Zambales “already pockmarked by Chinese mining operations, Scarborough Shoal has ceased to be China’s staging point for possible aggression.” “The Chinese are well-landed, grounded in Zambales further strengthening their hold with this latest Subic investment,” said Inang Laya.
Just recently, China’s fishermen have been discovered wantonly harvesting endangered marine animals from waters that are within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone, which is recognized under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
But in Subic, China has already established a firm grip on Philippine soil by “dangling money before greedy Filipinos which undermines our national patrimony,” Inang Laya said. “We are raising a howl on China’s claim on
our territory but quickly turn our backs and even heap praises on China if the price is right,” Inang Laya added.
It furthered that, “Filipinos should not swallow their pride in exchange for investments more so when national security seems to be compromised.” Inang Laya also said “Panhua’s plan to hire only 100 employees with a P9 billion investment” is highly questionable.
“Surely, illegal Chinese workers will be brought to Subic.” News report said the Panhua Group is a largescale conglomerate, manufacturer, exporter, and wholesale supplier of cold-rolled steel coil, cold-rolled steel sheet, galvanized steel coil, galvanized steel sheet, pre-painted galvanized steel coil, and pre-painted galvanized steel coil sheet.
With an annual steel production capacity of 1.5 metric tons, Panhua Group Co. Ltd. is listed among the 500 top private enterprises in China. The firm’s main manufacturing bases, which have a registered capital of $100 million, are located in Zhangjiagang City and Fuling District, as well as Chongqing City in mainland China.
Company officials said its proposed Subic Bay Freeport operations are expected to augment its production, as it has pegged its export target at 42,000 metric tons per month to begin in the first quarter of 2016.
Panhua’s newly approved project in Subic will be located at Subic Bay Gateway Park Phase 2 and will initially be manned by 100 employees.