Thursday, May 18, 2017

WATCH: Philippines will not accept European Union grants 'with condition'

Thursday| May 18, 2017

The new government policy is to refuse grants from the European Union, this will only apply to aid with conditions that will interfere with the Philippines' internal policies. Malacañang said.

The humanitarian aid is not cover on the new policy this is usually comes without any conditions.

"The President has approved the recommendation of the Department of Finance not to accept grants – this is not necesarily humanitarian aid from the EU – that may allow it to interfere with the internal policies of the Philippines," Abella said.

"These grants pertained to particular projects or programs that have the potential of affecting the autonomy of the country," added Abella.

Asked what the Philippine government considers as "interference," Abella said its definition does not "necessarily" apply to comments by EU officials on Duterte administration programs.

"Comments do not necessarily interfere but when it begins to impose certain conditionalities that will interfere with the way we handle it, then we consider that objectionable," he said.

He declined to give specific examples of offered grants and conditions.

"The Philippines is growing by leaps and bounds. It's second fastest growing right now in Asia. We have to gain a certain confidence in ourselves. This is exactly the kind of mentality the President wants the Filipinos to avoid – a mendicant attitude," said Duterte's spokesman.

Earlier that day, the National Economic and Development Authority announced that the Philippine economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter of 2017, which is below expectation, and lower than the gross domestic product growth in the previous quarter and in the same period a year ago. (READ: PH GDP grows slower by 6.4% in Q1)

The government is eyeing a 6.5% to 7.5% average growth for 2017.

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