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first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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‘Revoke PH’s tariff perks,’ Roque dares EU

first_img“Just do it.”Malacañang dared the European Union (EU) to revoke the Philippines’ Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status which provides tariff perks for Filipino goods if they want to see Filipinos suffer at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque(RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after European lawmakers recommended in a resolution to revoke the said tariff perks over “serious” human rights violations in the country.In his presser, Roque did not mince his words in calling out the EU over the recommendation to revoke the Philippines’ GSP+ status.“Kung gusto nilang dagdagan ang pahirap ng sambayanang Pilipino sa panahon ng pandemiya (If they want to add to the suffering of the Filipino people at this time of a pandemic), so be it,” Roque said.“Tama na ‘yang mga diskusyon na ‘yan. Gawin nila ang gusto nilang gawin. Sa mga panahon na ito (Let’s end the discussions already. They should do what they want to do. At this time), if they want to implement it, go ahead!” he added.According to Roque, the whole world will be looking at the EU as an entity that added to the suffering of an entire country if they will push through with the proposal.“Europe, go ahead. At the time of the pandemic, the whole world will pay tribute to you,” he said.“They will be the biggest contributor to the violation of the right to life in the Philippines. Ganoon na lang yun (Let’s leave it at that),” he added.Nothing to loseRoque said that the Philippines will not be cowed by EU lawmakers’ push to revoke the tariff perks for Filipino goods.“I’m sorry I’m being very undiplomatic with my answer pero (but) what else can I say? At the time of the pandemic, they’re threatening us? Susmaryosep (My goodness). What else do we lose?” he said.“Hindi po tayo makukuha sa pananakot sa panahon ng pandemya (They cannot scare us anymore especially with the pandemic),” he added.The Palace official noted that losing those tariff perks will be a big blow to the country’s economy but said that the Philippines has already hit rock bottom because of the pandemic.“Mas liliit pa rin ang ating ekonomiya dahil sa COVID-19, talagang magpapahirap pa po lalo ang planong gawin ng Europe na i-suspend ang ating GSP privilege (Our economy will further shrink because of COVID-19 and we will really suffer even more if Europe will suspend our GSP privilege),” Roque said.“Kung gusto po nila ‘yan, wala po tayong magagawa. Hayaan po nating panoorin nila na lalong maghirap ang sambayanang Pilipino (If they want to do that, then what can we do? Let’s let them watch Filipinos suffer even more),” he added.Roque said Filipinos will just accept the situation as history repeating itself, noting that the Philippines had suffered for 333 years under Spain’s colonial rule.“Tatanggapin po ‘yan ng mga Pilipino pero tayo po ay makakaahon, taas-noo kahit ano ang gawin ng ating mga dating colonial masters (Filipinos will accept that but we will proudly rise up no matter what our former colonial masters do),” he said.Nothing to hideRoque said the Philippines has nothing to hide and told EU lawmakers to come to the Philippines to see the situation for themselves.“Everything is a matter of public knowledge. We have Real Numbers. Wala kaming tinatago (We have nothing to hide),” he said. The Real Numbers program is the government’s way to update the public on the results of the drug war.The Palace official said EU thinking that the Philippines is a failed government was already getting old.“Paulit-ulit kasi, eh. Sinasabi nila human rights violation, sinasabi natin bukas ang mga hukuman, ayaw nilang maniwala (We’re like a broken record already. They’re saying there’s human rights violations, we’re saying our courts our open but they refuse to believe us),” Roque said.“Pwede naman silang pumunta dito. Ang tingin nila mukha tayong Somalia na failed government (They can come here. They treat us as a failed government like Somalia),” he added.MisinformationRoque, however, said that what is happening to the EU is a “classic case of misinformation” about the events in the Philippines.He called on the Philippine ambassadors in European countries to help spread the truth about what is happening in the country.“Alam ko po marami na kayong ginagawa pero importante po na maging isa sa mga pangunahing katungkulan ninyo ay ikalat naman ang katotohanan na buhay na buhay ang demokrasya sa Pilipinas (I know you have a lot in your plate but it’s important that you also prioritize spreading the truth that democracy in the country is very much alive),” he said. SIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTERCLICK HERE TO SIGN-UPlast_img read more

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