PH disqualified from MCC grant in 2021 BusinessWorld

PH disqualified from MCC grant in 2021 Featured

SENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday lamented that the Philippines will not be able to access millions of dollars in grants from the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) because the country was given a failing mark on corruption.

The Washington-based MCC gave the Philippines a failing mark on corruption control, rule of law, freedom of information, health expenditures, immunization rates and access to credit, “thus the country becomes ineligible for a new aid compact in 2021,” Drilon said.

“Another missed opportunity. We missed a great opportunity to get funding aimed at reducing poverty and strengthening good governance,” he said in a statement.

In a statement on November 9, the MCC said: “The scorecards are a key component in MCC’s annual competitive selection process that determines which countries are eligible to develop a five-year grant agreement, known as a compact, with the agency. To be considered for an MCC compact, countries are expected to first pass MCC’s scorecard, passing at least 10 of the 20 indicators, including the Political Rights or Civil Liberties indicator, and the Control of Corruption indicator.”

“It saddens us that the government’s inability to curb corruption has affected our access to critical grants such as the MCC,” Drilon said.

“This underscores the need to combat corruption. Otherwise, we risk losing several funding, grants and incentive programs that can help alleviate poverty in the country,” he stressed.

The MCC extended $434 million worth of aid to the Philippines during the Aquino 3rd administration. The money was used to modernize the Bureau of Internal Revenue to strengthen tax collection, provided community-driven development projects to far-flung and high-poverty communities, and rehabilitated a critical secondary national road on Samar Island.

Drilon said another MCC could have helped the country recover faster if it accessed more funding in 2021.

“The country has lost not only grants but a chance to change lives and create impact,” the senator said.

Drilon said the MCC aid also implemented 4,000 small-scale development projects in poor rural areas and renovated 222 kilometers of a national road “that serves as a lifeline for numerous towns and municipalities in one of the poorest and most typhoon-prone areas of the country.”

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Read 130 times Last modified on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 17:15
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