PH suspends loans from 2 countries that backed Iceland resolution
MANILA, Philippines— The government has suspended its loans from two countries that supported a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution against the Philippines.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the suspended loans are the 21 million euros support from France for the bus rapid transit (BTR) program of the Department of Transportation, and the $46 million funding for climate change studies from Germany.
“Those are the only two items that were suspended,” Dominguez said during the hearing of the Senate committee on finance on Wednesday.
But Dominguez said the government has already found a “substitute” to fund the BTR project.
“So that’s no trouble,” he said, “And that it’s a loan, a soft loan but we can get very similar terms from a multilateral agency.”
The government, on the other hand, is still looking for a substitute for the loan from Germany.
The President has earlier ordered the suspension of all negotiations or signing of all loan and grant agreements with countries that voted in favor of the Iceland-led UNHRC resolution.
The resolution sought a comprehensive review of the human rights situation in the Philippines and the government’s bloody war on drugs.
Dominguez however clarified that the memorandum they received said loans from countries that backed the UNHRC resolution will be suspended “while the relationships are being reexamined.”
“And the current negotiations involved not only the countries that voted but the countries that sponsored also. Because not all countries are members of that committee and some of them just actually sponsored. So it’s voted and sponsored,” he said. /muf
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