Spain to continue giving aid to PH despite austerity measures

Posted at 01/21/13 2:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Despite its government's austerity measures, Spain will continue giving development aid to the Philippines, according to Spain Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq.

The Philippines will be the only Asian country to continue getting official development assistance from Spain.

Because of the history between the two countries, Domecq said the Philippines remains a priority in development efforts and partnerships. This despite austerity measures being implemented by the Spanish government.

"Now with austerity programs and budgetary restrictions, the money we had for development aid has been cut back severely and we have had to set priorities but we do not think that the relationship (between our two countries) is just words. The people in Spain --- they have taken that position the only country in the entire Asian continent, the Philippines will remain on the map of our ODA which has been quite considerable," he said

In the last 5 years, Domecq said Spain has given $1.8 billion annually in grants worldwide.

In the Philippines, Spain has given millions of dollars worth of grants for health, education, climate change and development of local governments.

Domecq was at an event launching the Tribuna Espana-Filipinas. The Tribuna Espana-Filipinas is a high level dialogue between Filipino and Spanish delegates to be held on January 28-29 at AIM Conference Center. The forum will explore programs and partnerships between the two countries.