Palace not keen on US agency grant–Palace


WHILE the country has been deemed eligible, the Duterte administration is not keen on accepting the aid grant from the United States government under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a Palace official said Sunday.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella issued the statement following 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 in a statement.

Abella, however, then claimed that being a candidate for the MCC grant spoke well of the government.

“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 added.

The 10-point socioeconomic 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; ensure security of land tenure to encourage investments, improve social protection programs, including the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program, to protect the poor, strengthen the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to enable couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning, among others.

Based on its profile posted on its website, the MCC is an independent United States foreign aid agency aimed at fighting global poverty.

Likewise, the profile states that the MCC has approved over $10 billion in compact and threshold programs worldwide in such sectors as: agriculture and irrigation; transportation (roads, bridges, ports); water supply and sanitation; access to health; finance and enterprise development; anticorruption initiatives; land rights and access and access to education. LLANESCA T. PANTI



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