Palace welcomes EU offer of aid on anti-drug campaign
Malacanang expressed gratitude to the European Union (EU) for its offer of 3.8 million euros to be used in the Philippine government's campaign against illegal drugs.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated the position of President Rodrigo Duterte of his willingness to accept foreign assistance provided that there are no conditions.
"We thank the European Union likewise for offering 3.8 million euros aid to fund the drug rehabilitation centers in the country. The president as we all know is amenable to accepting any aid but without any unilateral conditions," he said.
Roque said Duterte would not compromise the nation’s dignity over any amount of foreign aid.
"That being said that EUs’ desire to support our drug rehabilitation centers runs parallel with the Duterte administrations holistic approach to the drug problem by treating it not just a national security issue but a public health concern as well including rehabilitation and reintegration of the drug dependents," he said.
"Certainly their assistance, without conditionalities, will be channeled to the Department of Health and will be a big boost to our drug rehabilitation program," he added.
European Commission Director-General for International Cooperation and Development Stefano Manservisi, who visited the Philippines last week, said EU was ready to disburse 3.8 million euros to assist the government's campaign against illegal drugs. The amount is part of 260 million euro aid that the EU has programmed for the Philippines during the past years.
Earlier, the Duterte administration rejected 6.1-million euro worth trade related technical assistance (TRTA) from EU due to the language of the deal, which includes provision about huamn rights.
Some European lawmakers have criticized the Duterte administration on its bloody war against illegal drugs. Celerina Monte/DMS