Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 11, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

MCC Board Selects Philippines as Compact Eligible

Washington, DC The Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors announced today at the conclusion of its March Board Meeting that the Philippines has been selected as eligible to apply for an MCC compact. The MCC Board determines eligibility for this large-scale grant funding based on independent indicators that measure good governance, the countrys investments in its people and policies that encourage economic freedom. The Board’s announcement followed its decision at last December’s annual selection meeting, when the Board requested additional time for review and deeper analysis of the Philippines’ passing performance on the eligibility criteria. The MCC Board today noted the Philippines’ consistent performance on eligibility criteria and its effective implementation of the MCC-funded Threshold Program focused on helping curb corruption through improved tax and customs administration and strengthening of their Ombudsman’s office.

Congratulations to the Government of the Philippines for its demonstrated commitment to tackling difficult challenges and improving the lives of its people, said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich. While eligibility is an essential first step towards a poverty reduction grant from the MCC, selection does not guarantee funding. The Philippines, like all countries eligible for a compact, must maintain its performance on the MCC selection criteria and must now begin a broad-based consultative process with its people to develop a proposal that addresses the countrys barriers to poverty reduction and economic growth. As partners, we agree that ending corruption and finding long-term ways to reduce poverty are urgent priorities that deserve our full attention.

Countries selected as eligible for a large-scale grant, or compact, have the opportunity to submit a proposal for five-year program to reduce poverty through sustainable economic growth. Once selected as eligible, countries begin a consultation process that includes citizens, nongovernmental organizations, and representatives of the private sector and government to identify the barriers to poverty reduction and economic growth. MCC teams then work in partnership to engage with countries on their compact proposals to ensure that projects meet economic growth and poverty reduction targets. The resulting compact also sets forth how the country plans to manage and implement its MCA program, including how it will ensure financial accountability, transparency, fair and open procurement, and measurable results.

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The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government agency designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth. For more information about MCC, visit www.mcc.gov.

N.B.: MCC will host a public outreach event to discuss actions from the Board meeting, on Wednesday, March 12, 2008. To register and for more information on this event, visit:http://www.mcc.gov/press/events/documents/outreach-031208-postboard.php.