§ Mr. Tom Clarke
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement on the Commonwealth Development Corporation loan to NGPI, Agusan del Sur, Philippines; if, in the light of incidents involving the Lost Command, he is satisfied that there is a safe working environment free from harassment at NGPI; and if he will freeze any further funds for the project until a full investigation of violations of human and trades union rights is conducted.
§ Mr. Raison
Good progress has been made with the development of the project. The company's undertaking that by 30 June at the latest the security force composed of members of the Lost Command would be replaced by a new force raised and trained by NDC and under the control of NGPI was in fact implemented on 16 May.
The Commonwealth Development Corporation has instituted detailed procedures for monitoring the security position on the estate and the maintenance of a safe and equitable working environment free from harassment. That monitoring includes the investigation of matters such as allegations of violations of human and trades union rights on the estate. I am aware of allegations of incidents in the area which took place before the new security force took up its duties and which have been brought to CDC's attention by the Catholic Institute for International Relations and others. I have asked CDC to keep me in close touch with the situation. As the hon. Gentleman is aware, CDC is able to withhold disbursement under its loan agreement with NGPI, which was signed in April, should it be satisfied that any such violations occur.