The European Union on January 13 renewed its seven-year support strategy to the Philippines and more than doubled the figure for its development aid for 2014 to 2020.
Ambassador Guy Ledoux of the European Union Delegation to the Philippine signed with NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan a letter confirming a new P17 billion (US$313 million)grant, which climbed from P7 billion ($156 million) for the 2007 to 2013.
“The fact that the governance has improved and that the current administration certainly also played a role in increasing EU assistance to the Philippines, in a sense that we suddenly feel that EU aid to the Philippines has more impact,” Ledoux said in a press conference.
Ledoux said that the EU will be focusing on the rule of law and energy in the coming years, while dedicating a significant chuck of its aid to conflicted ares of Mindanao in support of its upcoming transition to the Bangsamoro region.
EU member states also reaffirmed their commitment to the country’s development, and presented a diversity of projects.
Danish Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, meanwhile, urged Manila to address the income gap between the rich and the poor and to further work on its relations with the EU.
“It is important to mature relations between the EU and the Philippines, to move from the grand level to the commercial level, because that’s where you get really substantial change,” Christensen said.
He also vowed that Denmark will continue to be present whenever the Philippines encounters humanitarian problems, such was the case after the wrath Supertyphoon Yolanda in the Visayas.
Read more: The Philippine Star