Philippines meets majority of Millennium Challenge criteria

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2010 03:54 PM | Updated as of Nov 16 2010 11:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines was found eligible for grant assistance from the US government's Millennium Challenge Corporation after scoring above the median on a majority of indicators used as criteria for grant eligibility.

The "MCC scorecard" showed that the Philippines scored above the median on a majority of the indicators, including all indicators in the Ruling Justly and Economic Freedom categories.

Among the indicators where the Philippines rated well are control of corruption, government effectiveness, land rights and access, regulatory quality and civil liberties. On the other hand, the country rated poorly in terms of health and primary education expenditures. 

US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. said the $434 million Millennium Challenge Compact with the Philippines is a result of the Philippine government's commitment to the indicator criteria and its joint desire to improve the economic conditions and the lives of the poor.

"Continued progress in these areas will foster the conditions necessary for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction," he said in a statement.

According to the MCC, selection of a country for MCC assistance program means it must demonstrate a commitment to just and democratic governance, investments in the people of a country, and economic freedom as measured by 17 different policy indicators.

Selection for eligibility initiates a multi-year partnership dedicated to pursuing economic growth and poverty reduction through the development and implementation of a compact.

The MCC monitors the policy performance of Compact eligible countries throughout the year. Once a country is selected as eligible, the MCC expects it to continue its reform process and maintain and improve its overall policy performance on the indicators.