Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Wednesday that the reported blacklisting by the French government of the Philippines over foreign aid fraud “is totally inaccurate.”
In a statement, del Rosario said the French Foreign Ministry told him the report was incorrect.
“A full denial of this misinformation has been made by the French Foreign Minister,” he said.
“With relevance to the aforementioned blacklist, we have in fact been informed that there is a new list and this list does not include the Philippines,” del Rosario said.
The mistake apparently arose from an interview of a civil servant by a French newspaper, the secretary explained.
On Tuesday, reports broke out that France blacklisted the Philippines and 16 other countries for their failure to investigate foreign aid fraud. The blacklisting means Philippine banks will not be used in distributing foreign aid.
Paris reportedly criticized the lack of transparency in the banking systems of the countries put in the blacklist.
Some of the “non-cooperative states and territories” in the reported list are Botswana, Brunei, Nauru and Guatemala.
They joined the earlier blacklisted countries of Switzerland, Lebanon, Panama, Costa Rica, the United Arab Emirates, Dominica, Liberia, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.
Countries in the blacklist cannot use French banks to help distribute development funds.
With Report From Catherine S. Valente