'MCC signing historic day in US-RP relations'


Posted at Sep 24 2010 05:01 PM | Updated as of Sep 25 2010 01:01 AM

MANILA, Philippines – US Ambassador to the Philippine Harry Thomas Jr., described the signing of the P20-billion Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact as a “historic day in US-Philippine relations”.

“The MCC grant will support President Aquino's efforts to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth, combat corruption, and ensure a better future for all Filipinos. Through this grant, we will make our strong partnership even stronger," said Thomas.

Thomas Jr. congratulated the Philippines following the signing of a US$434 million (P20 billion) poverty reduction grant, known as a compact, between the Philippine Government and the MCC.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Benigno Aquino III presided over the signing on Thursday, September 23 in New York City.  

The compact provides funding for 3 major projects:

$54.3 million for a redesign and computerization of key business processes within the Department of Finance's Bureau of Internal Revenue to increase the efficiency, sustainability, and integrity of revenue collection; $120 million for the expansion of KALAHI-CIDSS, a community-based rural development program focusing on small-scale infrastructure and related services that stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty; and, $214.4 million for construction and rehabilitation of the 220-kilometer Samar Road that passes through 15 municipalities.  

To ensure efficient and transparent implementation, the compact provides approximately $37 million for administration, financial management, procurement oversight, and audit as well as $8.3 million for monitoring and impact evaluation.