Politics

Electric tricycle, floating solar projects top Singapore investment deals from Marcos visit

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PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO/ MMDA

ELECTRIC TRICYCLE and floating solar energy projects headlined the deals signed in Singapore during the state visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the Palace said.

The electric tricycle deal was valued at $5 billion, Press Secretary Rose Beatrix L. Cruz-Angeles said in a statement, noting that the proposed upgrades will curtail the air pollution generated by the Philippines’ 3.5 million tricycles. 

“The next top Singapore investment is in renewable energy, specifically the new technology of floating solar (power plants) valued at $1.2 billion,” Ms. Cruz-Angeles said adding that the top two deals align with the government’s climate change goals.

A data center project was also proposed with an estimated investment of $200 million, while various proposals were made to invest in the so-called “blue economy” or water-related ventures, such as marine renewable energy, water production, desalination, electric boats, and aquaculture, she said.

Investment pledges secured by Mr. Marcos during his state visits to Indonesia and Singapore amounted to $14.36 billion. 

Terry L. Ridon, a lawyer and investment analyst, said projects arising from these investments should be “coordinated well” with implementing agencies and local governments “to avoid waste and leakages.”

“Certainly, investment pledges should always be welcomed by any government,” he said in a Messenger chat. “But it is a different matter on whether the government can follow through and deliver on the pledges to the end-user.”

Mr. Ridon called for the establishment of an investment tracker to ensure transparency and to notify stakeholders on the actual status of projects.

“This is not only for monitoring, but also to push involved agencies to work harder and ensure timely delivery of commitments,” he said.

Mr. Ridon noted that the administration should be flexible with investment pledges in areas that have not been identified as priorities by government planners, particularly those that promise technology transfer.

“If these pledges do not involve massive amounts of public funds, and actually serve the public good, these initiatives can be incorporated into our existing programs,” he said.

The Singapore investment pledges are expected to generate 15,000 jobs in the Philippines, according to Ms. Cruz-Angeles.

The Singapore government is expected to hire more Filipino workers for jobs based in the city-state, where 200,000 Filipino migrant workers are currently employed, she added.

The Palace said Migrant Workers Secretary Susan V. Ople has been informed by her Singapore counterpart of close to 10,000 new job orders for Filipino workers. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza