• EU pledges €260M aid to Manila


    The European Union (EU) said on Friday it has pledged a €260 million (P16.5 billion) grant to the Philippines despite the Duterte administration’s refusal to accept any financial assistance from the European bloc.

    The pledge came after the Philippine government formally rejected last month an aid amounting to €6.1 million (382.45 million), according to EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen.

    The rationale behind the rejection was uncertain.

    Jessen previously said the documents for the aid were returned unsigned, which were supposed to be signed last December.

    The European official had added they informed contractors that about €39 million (P2.5 billion) worth of sustainable energy projects in Mindanao might no longer materialize.

    Still, the administration’s move to reject the fourth phase of the Trade Related Technical Assistance from the EU will not affect their €260 million development assistance between 2014 and 2020.

    “What we’re going today, I mean the ongoing cooperation that we have with the Philippines is €260 million,” European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development Director General Stefano Manservisi told reporters.

    The bulk of the amount will go to energy projects, with about €170 million to be earmarked for areas in Mindanao that are not connected to the main grid.


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