Palace thanks EU for ₱240M drug rehab aid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 5) — The Palace expressed its gratitude to the European Union (EU) after it offered ₱243.35 million (€3.8 million) to fund drug rehabilitation centers.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is amenable to accepting any aid but without any conditions.

The EU said there is no condition attached to the aid.

"The President will not compromise the nation's dignity over an amount of foreign aid," Roque said. "He will reject, as he did in previous occasions, offers of assistance with any condition that would interfere with our domestic policies," he added.

Roque said the EU's donation is in line with the Duterte administration's "holistic approach" in addressing the drug problem.

The administration, he said, is treating the drug problem "not just as a national security issue but a public health concern as well, including rehabilitation and reintegration of the drug dependents.

The Palace spokesperson said the donation will be given to the Department of Health.

European Commission's Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development Stefano Manservisi said on Friday, the ₱243.35 million aid is only part of the ₱10.6 billion the union is planning to donate for more development projects in the Philippines until 2020.

READ: EU to provide ₱240M for PH drug rehabilitation program  

Duterte has criticized the EU since the body took a strong stance against the administration's war on drugs.

READ: Duterte to EU: Stop meddling in Philippine affairs

Duterte announced in May 2017 it would no longer accept EU aid, as the President claimed it comes with conditions for the Philippines, particularly on human rights and the rule of law.

In December 2017,  the country formally rejected €6.1 million (₱382.45 million) in aid from the EU.

READ: PH rejects €6.1 million in EU aid

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.