PH gets failing mark in ‘rule of law’
While the Philippines is not applying for any financial grant from Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), the US aid agency has given the country a failing mark in “rule of law” on its latest scorecard.
MCC, however, gave the Philippines passing marks in “control of corruption,” “democratic rights” and more governance indicators.
On MCC’s fiscal year 2019 scorecard released on Nov. 5, the Philippines gained passing grades in 14 of the 20 indicators: fiscal policy, inflation, regulatory quality, trade policy, gender equality in the economy, and land rights and access under “economic freedom”; political rights, civil liberties, control of corruption, government effectiveness, and freedom of information under “ruling justly”; as well as natural resource protection, girls’ secondary education enrollment rate, and child health under the “investing in people” category.
Improvement over 2017
This year’s scorecard for the Philippines showed an improvement, as the country failed in control of corruption last year, and got passing marks in only 12 indicators.
But the country again garnered a failing grade this year in rule of law in the “ruling justly” category, which MCC said it based on the World Bank and Brookings Institution’s 2018 update of the Worldwide Governance Indicators data set mostly reflecting performance in 2017.
In the “economic freedom” category, the Philippines also failed in access to credit and business startup.
It also failed in health expenditures, primary education expenditures as well as immunization rates in the “investing in people” category.
In August last year, MCC identified the Philippines as one of the countries in the running for eligibility for funding this year.
The Philippine government, however, declined the proposed fresh grant from MCC.
In December last year, MCC announced that the Philippines had withdrawn from the planned second grant to build better roads along the coast of Eastern Luzon.
First compact achievements
“The government of the Philippines has decided not to move forward with the development of a second MCC compact. MCC is proud of the achievements of our first compact with the Philippines, and both MCC and the United States are proud of our long-standing positive relationship,” the corporation said.
In its Sept. 10 report, MCC included the Philippines among 65 low-income countries that were candidates for Millennium Challenge compact eligibility in 2019.
“A country will be a candidate country in the low-income category for fiscal year 2019 if it has a per capita income that is not greater than the World Bank’s lower middle-income country threshold for such fiscal year ($3,895 gross national income per capita for fiscal year 2019); is among the 75 countries identified by the World Bank as having the lowest per capita income; and is not ineligible to receive United States economic assistance under Part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the Foreign Assistance Act), by reason of the application of the Foreign Assistance Act or any other provision of law,” MCC said.
MCC also listed down five lower middle-income countries as possibly eligible for a compact next year.
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