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RP qualifies for aid from millennium fund

First Posted 08:06:00 12/11/2009

MANILA, Philippines ? The Philippines has again qualified for financial support from the US Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) in 2010, according to Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo.

The MCC, the US aid agency that helps developing countries meet the goals of the United Nations? Millennium Development Goals, has again judged the Philippines as ?compact eligible? which would qualify it for a large-scale grant in fiscal year 2010, Romulo said.

Under the Millennium Development Goals, the Philippines and other members of the United Nations have set a goal of reducing poverty incidence by half by 2010, and eliminating extreme poverty by 2015.

This is the third time that the Philippines has been endorsed as compact-eligible under the MCC?s Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) program by the MCC board chaired by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

?The reselection reaffirms both the MCC?s confidence in the Philippines? high capacity as development partner and the Philippine government?s highest level of political commitment to good governance,? Romulo said in a statement released shortly after the MCC board meeting in Washington, D. C.

MCC noted that in fiscal year 2010, the Philippines and Indonesia graduated from the low- income country category to the lower middle-income country category.

Graduation to a higher income category can affect approval of a country?s application for funding proposals under the MCA.

In her visit to Manila last month, Clinton said ?the Philippines should not be penalized for its own success,? referring to the Philippines having been reclassified from a low-income country to a lower-middle income country.

Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee also observed that ?despite the change in standards, the Philippines exceeds 10 out of the 17 indicators on the MCC scorecard.?

For 2010 to 2014, the Philippines is applying for MCC funding for three high-impact projects?Secondary National Roads Development (SNRD); the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and the Integrated Revenue Information System (Iris).

The MCC is also in the process of reviewing a Philippine plan of action to address policy performance issues like control of corruption to qualify for MCA funding.

Since its creation in 2004, the MCC has approved over $7 billion in poverty reduction compacts with 20 partner countries.

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