PH, US sign P10.5 billion bilateral deal to spur economy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2020 06:32 PM

People spend a leisurely afternoon at the park near the Kartilya ng Katipunan beside the Manila City Hall on September 15, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines and the United States signed a P10.5 billion ($213 million) bilateral agreement to boost the country's economic growth through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Embassy in Manila said on Monday. 

The agreement, which spans 5 years, is one of four new, five-year USAID-Government of Philippines Development Assistance Agreements launching in 2020, with an anticipated total value of P32.7 billion, the Embassy said. 

“This new USAID and Department of Finance bilateral agreement will expand our support to help the Philippines achieve long-term, private sector-led economic growth and strengthen economic governance. These programs will create jobs and help ensure more inclusive, broad-based economic development,” said USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II.

Besides aiming to boost growth, the Embassy said USAID will also support improving public sector transparency and accountability; advancing the rule of law and the justice system; and boosting local governments’ responsiveness to Filipinos’ needs.

Three other deals are in the pipeline, the US Embassy said. 

One will aid the Department of Health in strengthening health systems while improving the quality of health services, especially in treating tuberculosis, providing access to family planning services, and community-based drug dependence treatment.

Another will help the National Economic Development Authority promote the sustainable use of natural resources, enhance energy security, and build capacity to mitigate risks and respond to natural disasters.

The third agreement will help the Department of Education improve early grade reading, expand science and mathematics curricula, and increase out-of-school youths’ access to education, professional, and technical skills development that will lead to new job opportunities, and strengthen education governance.

The US Embassy said that over the past 20 years, the US has provided nearly P228.8 billion in aid to the Philippines.