Palace not keen on MCC grant

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The Duterte administration is not keen on accepting aid grants from the United States government under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a Palace official said on Sunday.

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Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella issued the statement in light of an announcement from the MCC that the Philippines made it to the list of candidate-countries under the low income category eligible to receive assistance for 2018.

“We acknowledge and welcome the decision of the United States Millennium Challenge Corp. [MCC] to extend assistance to the Philippines after the first grant ended in May 2016. 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,” Abella said.

He added that being a candidate for the MCC grant speaks well of the government.

“This is a recognition of the efforts of the Duterte administration, through its 10-point socio-economic 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.

The 10-point socio-economic agenda of the Duterte administration include: instituting progressive tax reform and more effective tax collection, indexing taxes to inflation; increasing competitiveness and the ease of doing business; ensuring security of land tenure to encourage investments; improving social protection programs, including the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program, to protect the poor; and strengthening the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to enable couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning.

LLANESCA T. PANTI

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