Speech

October 18, 2012

As Prepared by

Samar, Philippines

Remarks by MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes at SNRDP Construction Kickoff

Distinguished Secretaries,
Governor,
Mayors,
Friends,

Maupay Nga Aga!

It is a great honor for me to join you to mark the start of construction and rehabilitation of this important road. Thank you for welcoming me!

The partnership between the Philippines and the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation is designed to reduce poverty and promote economic growth. And, this will uplift the lives of Filipinos by opening up new opportunities for a more prosperous future. As I travel through Samar Island, I now have a better understanding as to why rehabilitating this 222-kilometer road is so important to you.

We share your desire for more reliable infrastructure. By rehabilitating this road, we are doing more than just paving it; we are creating a highway to opportunity.

  • This road here in Samar will increase commerce, drive trade and improve access to markets.
  • This creates opportunities for new businesses, new jobs and new sources of income.
  • It also will help more Filipinos reach health centers, schools and other social services.
  • It will save you time in getting from one part of Samar to another, connecting the east and the west.
  • It will lower the cost of transportation.

I am proud that the design and construction follows high standards to ensure that the road is built with quality.

  • You are managing resettlement responsibly.
  • You are including road safety standards.
  • You are incorporating measures to make sure this road does not contribute to human trafficking, a sad and terrible thing.

What you are doing here in Samar proves to the American people that their investment in the Philippines is a good one. Your commitment to transparency and accountability is key to achieving our shared goals for sustainable development and economic growth.

This road construction project will be challenging. I applaud you for reaching this point, but I also challenge you to deliver a fully-completed, quality road on time and on budget. The people of the Philippines are expecting a road they—and their children—can use now and well into the future.

I personally look forward to returning to the Philippines to drive the entire length of this road when it is completed!

Salamat and thank you!