Philippines to EU: We don't need your money
The decision comes after President Rodrigo Duterte received billions of dollars in pledges from China under its One Belt One Road initiative.
“The President has approved the recommendation of the Department of Finance not to accept grants, and this is not necessarily humanitarian aid from the EU that may allow it to interfere with the internal policies of the Philippines,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella was quoted by ABS-CBN News as saying.
“These grants pertain to particular projects or programs that have the potential of affecting the autonomy of the country”, he added.
The spokesman emphasized that the Philippine government reserves the right to accept or respectfully decline loans and grants from foreign bodies.
The government has also conveyed its decision to the EU delegation.
“The Philippine government has informed us that it will no longer accept new EU grants”, GMA News quoted Thelma Gecolea, EU delegation to the Philippines Public Affairs Officer, as saying.
EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said that the decision to reject aid from the EU will result in a loss of about 250 million euros ($278.73 million) worth of grants. ■