EU envoy: Projects in PH to go on

Image from EU's official website
  • EU official said ongoing projects to continue despite PH rejection
  • She said what will be stopped are projects coursed through PH gov’t
  • NGO execs also allayed fears, said their projects in PH will go on

MANILA, Philippines  –  European Delegation to the Philippines public affairs officer Thelma Gecolea said projects being funded by the European Union will go on despite the government’s announcement it is no longer accepting aid from the bloc.

According to Gecolea, what will be stopped will only be projects being coursed through the government.

“Ang ititigil is the project that will be coursed through the Philippine government [What will be stopped is the project that will be coursed through the Philippine government],” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Gecolea pointed out that several non-government organizations  (NGOs) with projects across the country take their funding from the EU.

“We have so many initiatives with the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), with the Red Cross and other non-government organizations,” she said.

NGO leaders echoed Gecolea’s statements; saying their projects benefiting the poor, indigenous and internally displaced peoples will continue.

“We are in a fourth phase, and as far as we know, we are not affected because the funds have already been committed. It is ECHO (European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection)-funded but we know its under EU. So far, we have not received any notice,” Integrated Resource Development for Tri-People Inc. (IRDT) executive director Kalma Isnain said.

“For the time being, wala pang announcement from EU side (there has been no announcement fromt the EU side),” International Organization for Migration (IOM) chief Bryan Lustre said.

Earlier, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the government — despite announcing its intent to no longer accept EU funding — will still be open to accepting aid so long as there are no strings attached.

“The Philippines reserves the right to accept loans and grants that help attain its objectives of promoting economic development, inclusiveness and reducing poverty,” he said.