Duterte should reconsider decision on EU grants, says Ifugao Representative

QUEZON City, Philippines (Eagle News) – Ifugao Congressman Teddy Baguilat has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his earlier decision to reject grants from the European Union, saying the country would be affected by the loss of funds.

Baguilat said the Philippines should continue to accept the grants offered by the EU.

“Such an unprecedented move is short-sighted and obviously not well thought out considering that some of the administration’s own key economic managers have said they were not consulted before the decision was made. It is a haphazard move that the government cannot afford to make,” Baguilat said.

Baguilat also added that the EU grants should not be sacrificed just because the EU criticized the government’s war on illegal drugs.

“Criticism or observation should not be mistaken for interference. The EU has demonstrated through the years that it is a partner we can rely on. To just unilaterally reject aid based on, so far, an unsubstantiated claim of interference is ill-advised. At the very least, the government must be transparent enough to disclose the specifics of this rejection of assistance so that we can all be ready for any possible fallout,” Baguilat said.

Malacañang on Thursday, May 18, confirmed that the Philippines will no longer accept specific grants from the EU, particularly those with conditions, to “prevent the (bloc) from interfering with the country’s internal affairs.”