^

Headlines

EU doubles Philippines aid until 2020, cites gov't improvement

Camille Diola - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The European Union on Tuesday renewed its seven-year support strategy to the Philippines and more than doubled the figure for its development aid for 2014 to 2020.

Ambassador Guy Ledoux of the European Union Delegation to the Philippine signed with NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan a letter confirming a new P17 billion grant, which climbed from P7 billion for the 2007 to 2013.

"The fact that the governance has improved and that the current administration certainly also played a role in increasing EU assistance to the Philippines, in a sense that we suddenly feel that EU aid to the Philippines has more impact," Ledoux said in a press conference.

Ledoux said that the EU will be focusing on the rule of law and energy in the coming years, while dedicating a significant chuck of its aid to conflicted ares of Mindanao in support of its upcoming transition to the Bangsamoro region.

He explained that its urgency in contributing to Mindanao's development is also a way of addressing terrorism.

"When you have a region in conflict, lots of people wo are unhappy who might be tempted to resort to terrorist activity, negotiations with the [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] are certainly very encouraging," Ledoux said.

He also said the EU anticipates the international community's further push for solutions and mechanisms in coping with climate change and looks forward to support the Philippines in its own efforts under the Millenium Development Goals, the deadline of which comes this year.

The decision to increase its assistance to the Philippines came only a few weeks after granting it with a GSP+ status, or a zero-tariff requirement on strategic exports.

Support from EU states

EU member states also reaffirmed their commitment to the country's development, and presented a diversity of projects.

Germany similarly focuses on the peace process in Mindanao and helps authorities manage conflict as well as resources, German Ambassador Thomas Ossowski said.

Danish Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, meanwhile, urged Manila to address the income gap between the rich and the poor and to further work on its relations with the EU.

"It is important to mature relations between the EU and the Philippines, to move from the grand level to the commercial level, because that's where you get really substantial change," Christensen said.

He also vowed that Denmark will continue to be present whenever the Philippines encounters humanitarian problems, such was the case after the wrath Supertyphoon Yolanda in the Visayas.

Spanish Ambassador Luis Calvo, for his part, said that good governance and disaster risk reduction take the biggest percentage of Spain's assistance to the Philippines.

Calvo said that P1.2 billion has been channeled from Spain to the Philippines the past years through organizations and agencies.

Assistance from The Netherlands focuses on water management, human rights especially in combating human trafficking, promotion of economic activities and disaster risk prevention.

"More than half of our country is below the sea level, so we have experience we have to share [with the Philippines," Dutch Ambassador Marion Derckx said, referring to the Philippines' flooding problem.

Similar expressions of support came from the Czech Republic, Austria, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

AMBASSADOR GUY LEDOUX OF THE EUROPEAN UNION DELEGATION

CZECH REPUBLIC

DANISH AMBASSADOR JAN TOP CHRISTENSEN

DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL ROLANDO TUNGPALAN

DUTCH AMBASSADOR MARION DERCKX

EUROPEAN UNION

GERMAN AMBASSADOR THOMAS OSSOWSKI

LEDOUX

MINDANAO

PHILIPPINES

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with