MANILA- The United States' Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) will still decide on the Philippines' eligibility to receive fresh grants after the country qualified as a candidate.
The Philippines was listed yesterday as among the "candidate countries" for new MCC grants due to its income level, which falls under the low-income category as classified by the World Bank.
US Embassy press attache Molly Koscina on Friday, however, clarified that being a "candidate country" does not automatically mean it is eligible to receive a second MCC grant.
"It is important to note that being a Candidate Country does not necessarily mean a country is eligible for MCC assistance. The MCC Board of Directors has not made a decision on the Philippines’ eligibility for a second compact," she told ABS-CBN News.
Candidate countries listed by the MCC are chosen based on their per capita income levels and their eligibility to receive assistance under US law.
The first MCC grant, amounting to $434 million, came into force in May 2011 and ended in May 2016.
Last December, the MCC said it was deferring a vote on the re-selection of the Philippines for compact development "subject to a further review of concerns around rule of law and civil liberties.”
According to the MCC website, countries can only qualify for the grant if they "demonstrate a commitment to just and democratic governance, investments in its people, and economic freedom."