Manila says no to EU grants

The Philippine government has rejected financial support from the European Union to keep the latter out of the internal affairs of the Philippines, The Manila Times Online reported on Friday.

Executive Secretary of the palace Salvador Medialdea said this new policy would keep EU out of the affairs of the Philippine government.

“We are supposed to be an independent nation,” Medialdea said in a text message sent to the media.

The EU delegation in Manila has been informed of the new policy that puts at stake 250 million euros in grants. A large chunk of the money was allocated to Muslim communities in Mindanao.

The new policy was recommended by the Department of Finance and it was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.

He explained that the rejection of EU’s financial support would be done on a case to case basis and that each situation would be dealt with separately. However, he said humanitarian aid for victims of calamities may still be accepted as long as it is unconditional.

EU is the Philippines’ eighth biggest source of aid with assistance last year worth $217 million.