US, PH sign P10.5B 5-year bilateral aid

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    The Department of Finance (DOF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed a new five-year bilateral assistance agreement valued at more than P10.5 billion to boost the country’s economic development and growth, the US embassy said in a statement yesterday.

    The embassy said the bilateral agreement with the DOF is one of four new five-year USAID-Government of Philippines Development Assistance Agreements launching this year, with an anticipated total value of P32.7 billion over five years.

    “This new USAID and DOF bilateral agreement will expand our support to help the Philippines achieve long-term, private sector-led economic growth and strengthen economic governance,” Lawrence Hardy II, USAID mission director, said.

    “These programs will create jobs and help ensure more inclusive, broad-based economic development,” he added.

    The embassy said in its statement the agreement enables USAID and the Philippines to deepen their commitment to accelerate inclusive, broad-based economic growth through policies that increase investment and trade throughout the Philippines.

    “New programs and activities will promote inclusive, market-driven growth; improve the business environment; expand economic opportunities through private-sector led innovation for medium and small businesses; and increase information and communications technology access for the digital economy that benefits both producers and consumers,” it said.

    “Activities also include strengthening local civil society organizations to advance locally-led programming and policy-making in the Philippines and facilitating coalitions and partnerships between government and other stakeholders toward data-driven decision-making,” it added.

    Additionally, USAID will continue to support Philippine government objectives by improving public sector transparency and accountability, advancing the rule of law and the justice system, and boosting local governments’ responsiveness to Filipinos’ needs.

    Over the past 20 years, the embassy said the US has provided nearly P228.8 billion in total assistance to advance the country’s development goals.