PH int’l ties not a ‘beggar-donor’ relationship—Robredo
Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo reiterated anew the importance of the country’s relationship with the international community, saying the Philippines does not have a “beggar-donor relationship” with foreign aid givers.
Speaking before representatives of public and private sectors at the “Angat Buhay” anti-poverty summit, Robredo said she was humbled by the support her office had been receiving from the private sector, domestic and foreign non-government organizations, embassies, multilateral and international aid organizations.
“I’ve never looked at aid from other countries as a beggar-donor relationship,” she said in her speech at the partnerships against poverty summit held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday.
“I like to think that it’s a human response to show mercy, compassion, regardless of our nationalities, our race, our religion, and even our political beliefs,” Robredo added.
She said the country’s relationship with other countries is “not a one-way street, where we are the only one on the receiving end.”
But it is about “human beings who recognize each other’s limitations, and their need to harness their unique gifts and strengths, for the benefit of the greatest number who remain vulnerable.”
The Vice President then emphasized anew her call for inclusiveness. “The problems we face require building bridges, not walls,” Robredo said.
Dealing with the country’s problems “requires collaboration, not polarization.”
“We will succeed faster if we include, not exclude,” she stressed.
And despite the diplomatic row that followed after President Rodrigo Duterte made harsh remarks against the United States and US President Barack Obama, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations, Robredo said this did not stop foreign countries from pledging support to the government’s anti-poverty programs.
“[D]espite the noise out there, the truth is, many are willing to come together and build these bridges. Many have come to the Office of the Vice President offering help, and I believe it is borne out of a sincere and unconditional desire to help,” she said.
“I have also come to discover that giving aid is not just about a donor and a donee, and that the donee is not the only party benefitting from such an arrangement,’ Robredo said.
“For me, it is also a partnership of two parties, finding ways and means to find the best solutions to the complex problems of the world,” she added.
The EU, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank have all committed to provide support to the 50 poor communities the Office of the Vice President has chosen.
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