MANILA—Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said the decision of the Philippine government to reject the PHP13 billion aid being offered by the European Union (EU) was done in pursuit of a “truly” independent foreign and economic policies.
Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, also pointed out that the decision did not mean that the government was “forsaking” economic ties with EU.
“…It is my opinion that the loss of PHP 13 billion in foreign aid from the EU is a price the Philippines can afford to pay in pursuit of truly independent foreign and economic policies,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“…This decision does not mean that we are forsaking the economic ties we have built over the years with the EU,” he added.
The neophyte senator, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the government is always willing to build meaning trade relations with any state or regional organization willing to deal with the Philippines “in good faith, as peers and equals.”
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea earlier said that the decision to reject the aid is to prevent EU from meddling with the internal affairs of the Philippine government.
EU has repeatedly criticized the administration under Pres. Rodrigo Duterte for its aggressive campaign against illegal drugs.