MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The European Union on Wednesday evening, May 17, confirmed that the Philippines has decided to no longer accept new EU grants, pegged at around 250 million euros or P13.85 billion.
"The Philippine government has informed us that they no longer accept new EU grants," the EU delegation to the Philippines said when sought by Rappler for confirmation Wednesday.
The EU delegation said the Philippine government relayed this decision only this week.
The exact reason for this decision is unavailable as of posting time. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has not responded to our request for comment.
EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said the Philippines' decision will affect up to 250 million euros in EU grants.
This comes as President Rodrigo Duterte slams the EU for supposedly interfering in his bloody anti-drug campaign. "If you think it's high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead. We will not beg for it," Duterte told the EU in October 2016.
The EU Parliament earlier warned the Philippines that it could lose trade incentives if the human rights situation in the country does not improve.
Jessen stressed that the EU was not "imposing" human rights conditions on the Philippines, and it was the Philippines that signed 27 labor and human rights conventions under the United Nations system.
The EU, in any case, is one of the Philippines' biggest donors.
When Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck in November 2013, for example, the European Commission was the Philippines' second biggest donor, having given $40.47 million. Combined, donations from the European Commission and individual EU member-states made up around 11% of the foreign aid received by the Philippines after Yolanda. – Rappler.com
P55.4 = 1 euro
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.