MANILA – The Philippines and China will set up a screening systems for companies who will work on infrastructure projects in the Philippines, the Philippine ambassador to China said.

Speaking on ANC’s “Beyond Politics,” Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana said the two governments are working on the details of an accreditation system to prevent anomalous Filipino and Chinese companies from having access to loans and funds.

“They’re trying to set up a screening system, an accreditation system, on both sides, for the Filipino companies and for the Chinese companies, and this is one thing that [Finance] Sec. [Carlos] Dominguez, [Economic Planning] Sec. [Ernesto] Pernia… they are trying to thresh out the details with the Chinese,” he said.

“So, in the end, we would be dealing with reputable companies. For those companies who had problems, either they have to solve that… because the deadline, is really in January. They have to show that they complied with the standards before they can be cleared,” Sta. Romana added.

In October, President Rodrigo Duterte came home from his trip to China with an estimated $24 billion in investment and loan pledges, after a crucial visit that restored to normal level the relations between Manila and Beijing.

These include at least $5.5-billion for transportation and infrastructure, $1 billion for a hydroelectric power plant, $700 million for a steel plant, and $780 million for a port development project in Davao City that are expected to generate 2.6 million jobs.

However, some of the Chinese companies who pledged new investments in the Philippines have either been blacklisted or involved in anomalous projects.

China Road and Bridge Corp. was debarred by World Bank for bid rigging in the Philippines, while China CAMC Engineering, an affiliate of Sinomach, was the contractor of the anomalous North Rail project.

On the other hand, CCCC Dredging was involved in the construction of artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.

20 December 2016