PH stops aid from E.U.

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2017 09:59 PM | Updated as of May 18 2017 08:29 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - The Duterte administration has informed the European Union (EU) that the Philippines will no longer receive aid from the bloc, ABS-CBN sources said.

This would take effect for future projects, informed sources added.

No other details were given about the decision, as of posting. 

This move comes after President Rodrigo Duterte brought home billions of dollars of financial pledges, as well as potential investments, from his visit to China.

Last year, China agreed to invest $15 billion in the Philippines following Duterte's visit in October.

That was also the time when Duterte dared the E.U. and the U.S. to pull out their assistance to the Philippines, saying they don't understand the severity of the country's drug problem. 

“I’m now the President. The least of my worry is the E.U. I have to build a nation, that’s why I went to China. I went everywhere, because we are really poor and we have to improve the economy,” Duterte said in a speech during the 31st Biennial Convention of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in March.

The EU has been reviewing whether the Philippines can still qualify for trade incentives that are pre-conditioned on compliance with international agreements, including those on human rights.

A monitoring team from the EU earlier arrived in the country for an assessment of the country’s trade perks under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+), which allows the Philippines to export to the EU without duties or with reduced tariffs.

The Philippines was given preferential status under the European Union-GSP+ in December 2014, allowing the duty-free export of some 6,000 eligible products to the EU market.

The European Parliament also recently called for the release of detained senator and top government critic Leila de Lima.

In turning against the West, Duterte has embraced China despite Manila’s bitter dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea.

Duterte has chosen not to antagonize China over the dispute, in exchange for more vibrant economic ties. 

Despite cozying up to China, Duterte maintained he is adopting a “non-aligned” foreign policy.

“I went to China, I said, Mr. Xi Jinping, I’m here to shake your hand. I’m not asking for anything. I just want to trade with you, because you seem to be far away,” he said.

“I said, I will adopt a non-aligned foreign policy. But I would like to trade with you and please help us. So we are getting a relief from our hardships.” - with a report from ANC Business Nightly