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Locsin urges caution on EU funding for NGO

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Saturday reminded European states to get clearance first before funding non-government organizations in the Philippines.

“Over a month ago, I fired off a memo to all our European embassies to tell their host governments to clear any and all donations to their NGOs in the Philippines with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Or we will deregister them in the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission]. If that hasn’t been done, do it now,” Locsin said on his Twitter account.

In March, the Philippine government urged the European Union to stop funding local organizations in the country allegedly linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

READ: Europe probes NGO ties with NPA

Documents obtained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines revealed that the EU has reportedly released its first tranche of more than 621,000 Euros (P36,663,840) to the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and is expected to release 1.3 million Euros (P76,752,000) this year until the Philippine government flagged them. 

The Belgian government, on the other hand, has allocated a 15-million Euro (P885,600,000) grant or 3 million Euros per year to some Belgian NGOs for the 2017-2021 program.

A Philippine delegation presented this information before the EU and the Belgian government in February.

According to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the Belgian government, through different NGOs based in Belgium, has indirectly and unwittingly partnered with NGOs that act as a legal front of the CPP-NPA.

These Belgian NGOs include the SOLIDAGRO, Viva Salud, and KIYO.

In a text message responding to the tweet of Locsin, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said the bloc regularly engaged the Philippine government on the issue and that an audit was ongoing.

“We have a constructive and very regular dialogue with the government on this issue. As concerns the audit, it is still ongoing,” he said Saturday. 

READ: Euro NGOs hit for funding Reds

Topics: Teodoro Locsin Jr. , Department of Foreign Affairs , European Union , Communist Party of the Philippines
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