European Union (EU) has said that its members have invested P90 billion in the Philippines in 2015, as if reminding the Philippine government of the ever increasing investments the organization has made amidst the recent tirade against the EU by President Rodrigo Duterte.
In its facebook account, the EU posted figures from the Philippines Statistical Authority (PSA), showing the European Union provided 37% or P90 billion of all new reported investments in the Philippines in 2015.
This is an increase of 80% compared to the P49875 billion investments in 2014.
The PSA said 57% of all EU foreign direct investments went into manufacturing, and 10% into business process outsourcing.
According to EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen, EU investors are interested in the Philippines for many reasons, including its pivotal position in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and great human resources.
Meanwhile, Jessen posted a letter to facebook on Friday summarizing his work.
“My work can be summarized under 4 headings: political cooperation, trade & economic cooperation, development cooperation, and public diplomacy. Thursday and Friday (Oct. 20-21) the focus was on the latter two,” he said.
Jessen said when he arrived in Tacloban on Oct. 21 Leyte and Eastern Samar were still affected by the devastating typhoon Yolanda, which hit the region on November 8, 2013.
He said following the initial destruction, the EU supported a number of initiatives including efforts by the local government units in reconstructing housing and creating evacuation centers. “That doubles up as community centers. They are located on high grounds allowing also for a wonderful view of stunning region.”
“We have financed 11 centers, each meant to house 50 families, or 250 people in case of emergency. They are meant to be safe during calamities, such as typhoon, earthquakes and flooding,” he continued.
The Ambassador attended ribbon cutting ceremonies on Oct. 20 for two centers, as well as one for a cold storage facility, meant to help fishermen and farmers store their products in a more efficient manner. The United Nations Development Program is the implementing partner for this project.
When the Ambassador was asked if the EU would continue its development assistance, he replied “it is enough for me to be convinced that we do the right things on the ground, and that the communities receiving our assistance appreciate it and welcome it fully.”
Jessen stressed: “In the end, such support is about friendship and values; friendship between the EU and the Philippines, and an EU that is based on strong values, solidarity, equality and human dignity.”