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Philippines looks to ratify AIIB membership

The Philippines reaffirmed its intention to seekratification of its membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bankdespite current political tensions with China, The Philippine Star reported July 18.

No changes are expected regarding plans for the Philippinesto seek the Senate's ratification of the agreement to participate in the AIIB,said Carlos Dominguez, the country's finance secretary.

The comment follows the recent arbitration ruling thatrejected China's claims in South China Sea. The ruling stemmed from a case thePhilippines filed that China had rejected.

Meanwhile, the AIIB, which China leads, has indicated that therecent arbitration ruling would not affect its lending rules.

Song Liyan, the AIIB's senior communications officer, said theinfrastructure bank is an "apolitical organization," adding in aseparate email that the bank "may provide or facilitate financing to anymember."

In his email, Song also quoted part of the AIIB agreementthat stated that the AIIB "shall not interfere in the political affairs ofany member" and that only economic developments would be relevant to itsofficers' decisions.

The AIIB has 57 member countries. The Philippines is one of10 members that has yet to ratify its membership agreement and has until Dec.31 to do so.

Upon ratifying its membership, the Philippines mustcontribute US$196 million to the AIIB's US$100 billion capital stock. The countrywill have a voting power of 1.11% of the bank's membership.