MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government will no longer be accepting grants from the European Union (EU); this was revealed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday, October 18.
Cayetano’s statement came days after President Rodrigo Duterte lambasted the EU for criticizing his war-on-drugs campaign and even warned its envoys to leave the country ‘in 24 hours’.
“The whole point of his speech is we have a problem on drugs, but certain groups are giving wrong facts, fake news. Sinisiraan tayo [We’re being chastised] all over the world, so that’s why he’s decided na sa ngayon hindi tatanggapin ang bagong grants [that for now, we’ll not accept new grants] from the EU,” said Cayetano; referring to Duterte’s remarks.
The official added that some countries have been using these financial aids as an excuse to interfere with the internal affairs of the Philippine government.
“We have an issue about how we are treated as a sovereign nation, and these are donations or grants but usually may agreements, but they use it as an excuse to criticize us on certain aspects of our governance,” he said.
However, Cayetano assured that existing trade agreements will not be affected and bilateral relations between the Philippines and EU member-states will continue as it is.
The country is expected to receive 325 million euros (approximately ?18.05 billion) under the EU’s Multiannual Indicative Program between 2014 and 2020 which will be used for projects in sustainable energy, job creation, legal and judicial reform, among others.