PGMA orders transfer of MCA Task Force to her office

July 1, 2009 9:11 am 

MANILA, July 1 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has amended Executive Order No. 607-A ordering the transfer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) from the Department of Finance to the Office of the President.

The President issued the order to demonstrate the country’s commitment to meeting the MCA eligibility requirements set by an independent US government agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

The Chief Executive designated Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita to chair the Task Force MCA with the Secretaries of the Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as members.

Under the EO, the funds of the task force shall be sourced from available funds of the Office of the President subject to existing accounting and auditing laws and procedures.

Earlier, the Philippine government has applied for 748.21 million dollars in aid for five development projects under the MCA created by the US Congress and former President George W. Bush in 2004. MCA was developed to provide funding for programs that contribute to the reduction of poverty through sustainable economic growth in developing countries.

The fund is administered by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). MCC is managed by a chief executive officer overseen by a board composed of five high-level government officials such as the Secretary of State and four private-sector executives appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. So far, MCC has signed Compacts totaling 6.3 billion dollars with 18 countries.

The MCC criteria used to determine whether a developing country will be granted aid are organized into three categories: Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand are all eligible for MCA funding, but none of these countries have signed Compacts with MCC. Indonesia and the Philippines have received funding under the Threshold Program. (PNA)



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