Palace welcomes Millennium Challenge aid to PH
Malacañang on Sunday welcomed the decision of the United States Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) to extend assistance to the Philippines after the first grant ended in May 2016.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the government would study the conditions set by the MCC if these were “aligned with the President’s priority agenda.”
“This is a recognition of the efforts of the Duterte administration — through its 10-Point socioeconomic agenda — to continue and maintain macroeconomic policies while investing in human capital development in health and educational systems and improving social protection programs to protect the poor,” Abella said.
“While we are happy with this new development, our economic managers would study the conditions set by the MCC if these are aligned with the President’s priority agenda,” he added.
In an Aug. 16 report, the MCC said the Philippines was among the candidate countries for compact eligibility for fiscal year 2018.
The Washington-based MCC in December deferred making a decision on whether to provide the Philippines with a new grant for projects that would foster economic growth as well as slash poverty.
The MCC said then that the Philippines was “subject to a further review of concerns around rule of law and civil liberties.”
At that time, then US President Barack Obama was critical of Duterte’s war against drugs.
An MCC scorecard released in November last year nonetheless showed that the Philippines garnered passing scores in 13 out of the 20 indicators, including control of corruption, rule of law and civil liberties—an improvement from the performance in 2015, when the country got passing grades in 12 indicators.
In its latest report, the MCC said eligible countries were determined based on the following criteria: the country’s demonstrated commitment to just and democratic governance, economic freedom and investments in its people; the opportunity to reduce poverty and generate economic growth in the country; as well as the availability of funds.
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