Palace welcomes EU aid for drug rehab

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque INQUIRER PHOTO / JOAN BONDOC

Malacañang accepted and welcomed on Monday the European Union’s (EU) 3.8-million Euro (P242-million) aid for the government’s drug rehabilitation projects as it “runs parallel” to the government’s “holistic approach” to the drug problem.

“We thank the European Union likewise for offering 3.8 million Euros aid to fund the drug rehabilitation projects in the country,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.

“That being said, the EU’s desire to support our drug rehabilitation centers runs parallel to the Duterte administration’s holistic approach to the drug problem by treating it not just as a national security issue but a public health concern as well, including rehabilitation and reintegration of the drug dependents,” he added.

On Friday, European Commission Director General for International Cooperation and Development (Devco) Stefano Manservisi said the EU would release the funds in the “coming days.”

The fund, which would be channeled through the Department of Health, would finance drug rehabilitation centers and its programs, Manservisi said.

READ: EU to release 3.8-M Euro for PH drug rehab projects

Roque, however, maintained that Duterte would reject any aid that would come with any “unilateral conditions” that would interfere with the Philippines’ domestic policies.

“The President, as we all know, is amenable to accepting any aid but without any unilateral conditions. He will reject as he made in previous occasions offer of assistance with any condition that will interfere with our domestic policies,” Roque said.

“The President will not compromise the nation’s dignity over any amount of foreign aid,” he added.

The EU promised the fund to the Philippines way back in 2016, amid Duterte’s lashing against the powerful bloc for its criticism of his bloody crackdown against illegal drugs. /je

READ: Despite lashing from Duterte, EU gives funds for drug rehab in PH