Thank you. Please be seated.
President Aquino, Secretary Clinton, Secretary Romulo, Secretary Purisima, Under Secretary Burns, All our distinguished guests,
We are here today to sign a 434 million dollar compact between the Republic of the Philippines and the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation. This compact is by and for the people of the Philippines to:
- reduce poverty,
- promote economic growth, and
- create new opportunities for the Philippine people.
Let me thank the chair of MCC’s Board of Directors, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, for her ongoing support of MCC’s mission to fight global poverty. And, let me congratulate Dante Canlas and Troy Wray for their exceptional work in guiding the Philippine and MCC teams to this signing.
President Obama unveiled a new vision for global development this week, grounded in economic growth, country-led partnerships, transparency, accountability, and results. MCC already puts these principles into practice. We have an obligation to the American people to invest their tax dollars in partners and projects that will yield results in the fight against poverty. We stand with the Philippines because they are committed to achieving the promise of our investment, no matter how challenging.
- This means embracing reforms, practicing sound policies, and standing up to fraud and corruption so our investment can work best.
- This means leading their development, investing their own resources, and coordinating with other donors to build capacity and maximize sustainability.
- This means involving their citizens—from non-governmental organizations to private sector firms—to design homegrown plans to ensure accountability.
The success of our partnership depends on good governance, local leadership, and tangible results. It requires the full implementation of the three projects that the Philippine people outlined in their MCC compact to promote economic growth.
First, the compact will modernize the Bureau of Internal Revenue. This will allow the Bureau to raise revenues and reduce opportunities for tax evasion and corruption. It will increase fiscal space to invest in infrastructure, education, and healthcare.
Second, the compact will expand the Kalahi-CIDDS community development project. This innovative approach builds capacity at the grassroots level and responds to the needs of the poor. Projects have centered typically on building water systems, health clinics, schools, and day care centers.
And, third, the compact will rehabilitate Samar Road. This investment will enhance road safety, reduce transportation costs, and increase commerce in this poor rural province.
President Aquino, congratulations to the people of your country for designing this MCC compact. The people of the Philippines deserve the successful implementation of the MCC compact that they designed to reduce poverty, promote sustainable economic growth, and increase prosperity. Let us remain vigilant, steadfast, and unwavering in achieving these goals for them.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is now my great pleasure to introduce and yield the podium to the Chair of MCC’s Board, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.