• Melo Acuna

Poverty reduction, good governance programs get needed funding

United States grants US$213 million aid for poverty reduction, good governance programs

MANILA – An additional US$213 million grant was extended by the United States of America to the Philippines to fund a program to reduce poverty, promote private-sector led growth and strengthen good governance in the country.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III signed the grant for the Economic Growth and Democratic Governance with Equity (EGDGE) program up for implementation over a five-year period until September 2025.

Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II signed the agreement on behalf of the US Agency for International Development (USAAID).

“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,” said Secretary Dominguez in signing the grant agreement. He added the American aid in support of the overriding concern of the Duterte government highlights the strong and enduring bilateral ties between the US Government and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines which transcends political issues.

The DOF said the EGDGE program hopes to advance poverty reduction, justice, and peace in the country and seeks to advance macroeconomic fundamentals and open governance to promote inclusive growth for a more prosperous, self-reliant and stable country.

The grant is equivalent to P10.8 billion and covers technical assistance on public financial management, domestic resource mobilization, public-private partnerships and inter-agency coordination as well as assistance to develop and strengthen the capital markets including municipal bond financing and the promotion of innovative financial products.

The DOF said the grant is expected to improve regulatory governance by strengthening the capacity of public officials to develop transparent regulations as well as expanding opportunities for civil society advocacy for fair and open regulations.

The Department of Finance is the main implementing agency as the program is also designed to improve the enabling environment to develop transparent regulations and expanding opportunities for civil society advocacy for fair and open regulation.

The grant is expected to support sound urban management practices and investment development strategies to create new economic hubs in areas outside Metro Manila. It will also support anti-corruption institutions, spending agencies and other relevant bodies in implementing reforms to improve transparency and accountability in public finance.

It has been said Information Technology (IT) will also play a key role in improving judicial efficiency and expanding access to justice and in supporting the use of necessary e-governance tools under the program. The grant is also expected to strengthen counter-trafficking institutions by building the scale and sustainability of interventions and targeting key hotspots and sectors.

The EGDGE grant was endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) last May 27 and confirmed by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board which is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte last June 3. (Melo M. Acuña)

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (File Photo/DOF)

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