Purisima cites inclusive features of AIIB (Philippines News Agency)

The Philippines has about two weeks to decide whether to join or not the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said they continue to weigh the options.

We’re still in the game, Purisima said citing that they continue to attend AIIB meetings to study its structure.

Formal signing of membership for the said institution is set on June 5, 2015.

Purisima, at the sidelines of the Financial Times-First Metro Philippines Investment Summit held at Makati Shangri La on Wednesday, said these meetings do not require attendees to commit to be among the founding members of the institution.

He said some features of AIIB such as the emerging governance provision is somewhat similar to those of other multilateral institutions.

He cited the feature on representations as a particular example.

He said there is a proposal that the bank’s proposed Board of Governors be composed of 12 members and only one representative from each country will be included in the Board of Directors.

Asked whether this governance proposal is better than those with other multilaterals, Purisima said he is not very keen on that.

But I am seeing features that make it more inclusive, he added.

Several Asian countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia have signed the bill establishing AIIB in October 2014 although formal signing of the membership is set on June 2015.

Earlier, Purisima said the proposed governance structure of AIIB indicates that it will not compete with existing multilaterals like the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He said its funds will not be used for political purposes but instead support infrastructure requirements of the region.

The Finance chief said countries that signed the bill for the establishment of the AIIB have a sole goal – to help each country in putting up needed infrastructure projects.

For one, the Philippines vies to increase infrastructure spending to account to five percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2016 to ensure that infrastructure requirements of the economy, which has been posting strong growth in recent years are met. (PNA)