MANILA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- As more and more Chinese investments are pouring into the country, the Philippine government is confident that the investments will generate more jobs for local Filipinos, a senior Philippine official has said.
"That is what we want and that is what is happening. It will create so many job opportunities for Filipinos," Vince Dizon, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) of the Philippines, told Xinhua in an interview early this week.
Dizon stressed the importance of this cooperation in boosting the Philippine economy and strengthening the relationship between China and the Philippines. "This is a good opportunity both for China and the Philippines," he said.
According to the government data, China's investments in the Philippines reached 48.7 billion pesos (930 million U.S. dollars) in 2018, topping the list of foreign investors in the country.
BCDA, a Philippine government-owned and controlled corporation, has partnered with Chinese companies on infrastructure projects and business investments.
The BCDA chief refuted claims that Chinese workers are stealing local jobs in the Philippines. He said the Chinese companies are fundamentally hiring local people, adding that the accusation that Chinese workers dominate the labor force in the Chinese companies in the Philippines is false.
"If you look at the statistics and if you look at all the Chinese companies here, the Chinese employees of the Chinese companies are only 10 to 15 percent of the total number of employees, which means that 85 to 90 percent employees of the Chinese companies are Filipinos," Dizon said.
Dizon said Chinese manufacturing and high technology companies' investments are welcomed by the Philippine government and Filipino workers can gain knowledge and experience.
"We can learn from these Chinese technology companies. China now is quickly becoming one of the technology leaders in the world, and we want to learn from that. We want to gain the knowledge and technology that China can provide," Dizon said.
BCDA, whose job is to transform former military bases and properties into business centers and living communities, is now a major force of the Philippine government's grand infrastructure program.
BCDA's flagship project is to transform the New Clark City, a former military base located around 100 km north of Manila, into a business hub and an economic driver of the country.
BCDA and China Gezhouba Group Corporation signed a framework of cooperation in November last year to develop a 500-hectare mixed-use industrial park in New Clark City.
BCDA estimates that upon completion, the industrial park will generate up to 200,000 local jobs in the Philippines.
"We want to emphasize the importance of this cooperation in strengthening the Philippine economy and strengthening the relationship between China and the Philippines. This industrial park in New Clark City will be the first of its kind," said Dizon.