US grants $73M to RP under new US-RP environment, energy pact
Manila (10 February) -- Amid reports that RP stands to lose foreign aid due to allegations of massive corruption, the United States will extend $73 Million in grants for environment and energy programs in the Philippines over six years under a new bilateral agreement that was signed in Malacanang on February 10.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and US Ambassador Kristie Kenney witnessed the signing of the new bilateral agreement by NEDA Secretary Ralph Recto for the Philippines and United States Agency for International Assistance (USAID) mission director Jon Lindborg for the US government.
The $73-million grant would be used to fund within the year several projects that include renewable energy, rural electrification, and biodiversity conservation.
Ambassador Kenney said that the signing of the agreement marks going forward on a great partnership the two countries already share.
The Philippines has been recognized as an "environment superpower" because it has been blessed with abundant natural resources, and the President, an avid scuba diver, could attest to this, Ambassador Kenney said.
She, however, said that with the great richness comes extraordinary responsibility to protect those resources to pass it on to the next generation, to look for cleaner and greener ways to develop business, and cleaner and greener sources of energy.
Ambassador Kenney brushed aside questions about newspaper report that foreign aid to the Philippines could be downscaled due to corruption, saying, "you've just seen a new environment and clean energy agreement signed, so we are obviously pushing forward with our assistance."
Meanwhile Secretary Recto said the corruption allegations have not affected the flow of foreign aid in the country. (PIA 8) [top]