PHL secures US$213-M aid for poverty reduction programs
Robie de Guzman • October 13, 2020 • 147
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) on Monday announced that the Philippines has secured a $213 million (equivalent to P10.8 billion) grant from the United States.
The aid is to be used to finance the government’s programs that aim to reduce poverty and strengthen good governance.
In a statement, the DOF said the grant for the Economic Growth and Democratic Governance with Equity (EGDGE) program will be implemented over a five-year period until September 2025.
The accord was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and US Agency for International Development (USAID) mission director Lawrence Hardy II.
The DOF said the program aims to advance poverty reduction, justice, and peace in the country and also seeks to advance macroeconomic fundamentals and open governance in order to promote inclusive growth for a more prosperous, self-reliant, and stable Philippines.
“We thank USAID for this latest support by the United States government by way of a US$213 million grant for the Duterte administration’s paramount goal of accelerating poverty reduction and attaining financial inclusion for all Filipinos,” Dominguez said.
“This American aid in support of the overriding concern of the Duterte government underscores the strong and enduring bilateral ties between the US Government and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines that transcend the political chatter,” he added.
The DOF said the grant covers technical assistance on public financial management, domestic resource mobilization, public-private partnerships, and inter-agency coordination; and assistance to develop and strengthen the capital markets, such as municipal bond financing and the promotion of innovative financial products.
It also includes assistance to improve regulatory governance by strengthening the capacity of public officials to develop transparent regulations and expanding opportunities for civil society advocacy for fair and open regulation, the department added.
The program is also designed to improve the enabling environment for private infrastructure investments; and provide assistance in technical advising, training, lending guarantees, and/or private sector partnerships to promote startups and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development.
It is also envisioned to support sound urban management practices and investment development strategies to create new economic hubs in areas outside Metro Manila.
The governance aspect of the program will support anti-corruption institutions, spending agencies, and other relevant bodies in implementing reforms to improve transparency and accountability in public finance, the DOF said.
To further strengthen good governance, the EGDGE program will also provide assistance in adopting global best practices in the extractive industry; and support in promoting the swift and fair administration of justice through arbitration and mediation.
The program will also provide assistance in strengthening the country’s counter-trafficking institutions building the scale and sustainability of interventions, and targeting key hotspots and sectors.
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