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PIA Press Release

MCC, RP compact projects seen to create ripples of growth

Iloilo City (29 September) -- The signing of a five ? year $434 million grant by the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Republic of the Philippines to fund poverty reduction projects in the country is seen by both the US and the Philippine governments to create ripples of growth where urgently needed.

US Ambassador Harry Thomas said, in a press statement, that the MCC grant will support the Aguino government's efforts to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth, combat corruption and ensure a better future for all Filipinos, and ensure stronger partnership.

The compact allocates funding for three major projects: $54.3 million for redesign and computerization of key businesses within the Department of Finance's Bureau of Internal Revenue to increase the integrity, efficiency and sustainability of revenue collection and reduce opportunities for corruption.

A US Embassy press statement said this revenue administration reform project is expected to have broad impacts throughout the economy, making almost all citizens project beneficiaries.

The $120 million allocation is for the expansion of KALAHI-CIDSS, a community-based rural development program which focuses on small-scale infrastructure, such as water systems, clinics and schools and related services to stimulate growth and reduce poverty.

This project is expected to benefit over five million people by 2030.

Getting the biggest share, which is $214.4 million, is the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the 220-kilometer Samar Road that passes through 15 municipalities, seen to improve access to markets and services for farmers, fishers and small businesses in some of the poorest provinces in the country and bring impact on the lives of nearly 300,000 poor people.

The compact projects also provide $37 million for administration, financial management, procurement oversight as well as audit, and $8.3 million for monitoring and impact evaluation, to ensure transparent implementation.

The Millennium Challenge corporation is a U.S. Government Agency designed to work with developing countries based on the principle that it is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth.

The signing of the compact was presided over by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. (US Public Affairs, Manila/PIA6/ESS) [top]

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