PH can do without Iceland-reso states’ money: Locsin

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Friday the Philippines can manage without the loans from states that voted in favor of an Iceland-led resolution, which sought a review of the human rights situation in the country.

“We don’t need the money; we’ve more than enough without turning to anyone outside except Japan of course whose generosity is unconditional, quick; and whose motivation is honestly to help the Philippines. The rest are tongue in cheek and negligible,” Locsin said on his official Twitter account.

An Inquirer article dated September 20 reported that the Office of the President issued a “confidential memorandum” suspending the negotiations or signing of all loans and grants from the 18 nations that backed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution.

France and Sweden were among the non-members that co-sponsored the resolution last July, while the 18 UNHRC member-states that voted “yes” were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland, and Uruguay.

Asked how much in loans and grants would be affected by the memo, Locsin on Saturday morning said there’s “nothing big” based on the information he received.

“If it is a memo it is in effect. The amounts I hear from time, nothing big. Mostly DOF’s (Department of Finance) remit. Not new; long been turning down European grants with onerous or meddling conditions,” he noted.

In addition, he reminded that foreign grants to local non-government organizations (NGOs) now require clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).

“I have banned European grants to NGOs unless cleared by DFA and NICA,” he said. (PNA)

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