RP eligible for Millenium Challenge grant
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:04:00 03/12/2009
MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) The Philippines has been deemed eligible for another large-scale grant or compact from the United States-based Millenium Challenge Corp. (MCC), Malacañang announced on Thursday.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the Department of Finance (DoF) would submit to the MCC proposed projects to reduce poverty and sustain economic development, the cost of which could be higher than the $20-million grant the MCC gave Manila several years back.
“This will be a shot in the arm. This will be an additional source of capital for investment, in infrastructure and in human capital,” Remonde told a news conference at the Palace.
“This, to us, is a seal of good housekeeping given by the very prestigious MCC,” he added.
The projects that will be undertaken under the grant will span five years, he said.
In granting the Philippines eligibility for another compact, Remonde said the MCC recognized the government’s use of the earlier $20-million grant to crack down on tax cheats and hire more government prosecutors for corruption cases.
An initial list of projects that the Philippines would propose to the MCC costs P748.3 million ($15.6 million at $1:P48), Remonde said, quoting Finance Secretary Margarito Teves.
This includes P42.6 million for upland water protection, P147.9 million for an integrated revenue system, P190.7 million for the improvement of secondary roads, and P227 million for conditional cash transfers for the poor, Remonde said.
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