EU commits new grants to Philippines Government

The European Union (EU) has committed an additional 150 million euros-worth of grants to the Philippines. Two-thirds of the fund will firstly, help finance programs to boost agricultural productivity in Mindanao. Secondly, provide electricity to its far-flung small island-communities.

Mr Thomas Wiersing, the charge d’affaires of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, made this commitment. He said this during a recent virtual meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III. Both parties held the virtual meeting to discuss the progress of the development cooperation between the Philippines and the EU.

The EU has extended a total of EUR85 million-worth of grants for the government’s peace and development initiatives in Mindanao.

Mr Wiersing reaffirmed the EU’s intention to reorient portions of its grants to the government’s COVID-19 response efforts in Mindanao.

Mr Wiersing also restated the EU’s continuing assistance to institute reforms in the Philippines’ justice system. This assistance is through the second phase of the Justice Sector Reform Programme: Governance in Justice (GOJUST 2).

DOF thanks EU for support

On behalf of the Philippine government, Secretary Dominguez thanked the EU for continuing to support the Duterte administration’s peace- and confidence-building initiatives. He also thanked the EU for its assistance in boosting trade and agricultural productivity in Mindanao.

Secretary Dominguez also expressed his appreciation. Firstly, for the EU’s plan to reorient portions of its grants to Mindanao’s pandemic response efforts. Secondly, its intention to provide support to cash-strapped local government units (LGUs) in the South.

He likewise welcomed the EU’s plan to provide grants for the electrification of Mindanao’s small island-communities. He also suggested the use of clean energy to implement this project.

Mr Christoph Wagner, the new head of cooperation of the EU Delegation, welcomed the importance placed by Secretary Dominguez on the issue of the climate crisis with his clean energy recommendation for Mindanao’s rural electrification.

During the same meeting, Secretary Dominguez sought the EU’s expertise and assistance in accelerating the competitiveness of the Philippines’ manufacturing sector, given its weaknesses as a result of the country’s sudden jump from agriculture- to a services-based economy.

Secretary Dominguez said the EU, with its large manufacturing base, can share its technical expertise or extend assistance in providing the necessary equipment to help integrate medium-sized enterprises in the supply chain of big companies.

Strengthening and incentivising the manufacturing sector will help the Philippines sustain its recovery from the pandemic, Secretary Dominguez said.

Secretary Dominguez also broached the possibility for the EU to assist the Duterte administration in its efforts to provide individual land titles to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), especially in Mindanao. These reforms would allow farmers to have property rights and access to credit facilities and other forms of financial support.

For more information on the virtual meeting, visit the link here.

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