May 18, 2017

It is the prerogative of any state to refuse to accept help from its friends abroad, the international community. What government needs to do is to act swiftly and ensure that all existing and ongoing European Union aid programs benefitting our people in the local communities do not suffer when the aid is pulled out. The administration must then provide these ongoing projects with sufficient government funding.

According to EU Ambassador Franz Jessen, the government decision to cut aid from the EU would mean the loss of about 250 million Euros ($278.73 million) worth of grants mostly allocated to Muslim communities, among the country’s poorest.

Just now, socioeconomic planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said he is not taking as policy the decision of the Philippines to reject foreign aid from the European Union.

Nevertheless, the EU’s expression of concern over the war on drugs, including the incarceration of Senator Leila De Lima, should not cause the Philippines to step back in our relationship with EU.