Aquino receives MCC chief in Malacanang

October 19, 2012 10:27 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 19 — President Benigno S. Aquino III received the head of an American independent foreign aid agency to discuss various ways on how to win the battle against poverty and to promote programs that ensure upliftment of the lives of the Filipino people.

In a courtesy call at the President’s Hall of the Malacanang Palace, Friday, Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) chief executive officer Daniel W. Yohannes met with President Aquino and some members of the cabinet.

In attendance during the event were United States (US) Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, US Embassy deputy chief of mission Brian Goldbeck, MCC resident country director Matthew Bohn, MCC resident country director John Polk, MCC assistant general counsel and deputy chief of staff Lia Hanley, MCC public affairs director Linda Herda, Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P) managing director and CEO Ma. Victoria Anonuevo and MCA-P communications and outreach specialist Andres Saracho.

Also present for the Philippine side were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, National Economic and Development Authority director general Arsenio M. Balisacan, Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Rafael Yabut and acting assistant secretary Gina Jamoralin of the Office of American Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs.

MCC is an innovative and independent US foreign aid agency that helps lead the fight against global poverty.

Created by the US Congress in January 2004 with strong bipartisan support, MCC is changing the conversation on how best to deliver smart U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership, and results.

MCC forms partnerships with some of the world’s poorest countries, but only those committed to good governance, economic freedom and investments in their citizens.

MCC provides these well-performing countries with large-scale grants to fund country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth. MCC grants complement other U.S. and international development programs.

The two primary types of MCC grants are compact and threshold programs. Compact Programs are large, five-year grants for countries that pass MCC’s eligibility criteria while the Threshold Programs are smaller grants awarded to countries that come close to passing these criteria and are firmly committed to improving their policy performance.

MCC has approved over US$ 8.4 billion in compact and threshold programs worldwide that support country-determined projects in various sectors that include agriculture and irrigation, transportation (roads, bridges, ports), water supply and sanitation, access to health, finance and enterprise development, anti-corruption initiatives, land rights and access to education.

MCC’s Board of Directors has approved a five-year, US$ 4 34-million Compact Program grant with the Philippines aimed at reducing poverty through economic growth. The grant is intended to support reforms and investments to modernize the Bureau of Internal Revenue, expand and improve a community-driven development project, the DSWD’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-CIDSS), and rehabilitate a secondary national road in Samar province.

MCC is managed by a chief executive officer, who is part of the nine-member Board of Directors. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the USAID Administrator serve on the board along with four private sector representatives. (PNA)

RMA/PCOO/SSC

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