No Millenium Challenge grants: Philippines flunks graft test!

The consolation prize is that the government is eligible to apply again next year. The government spin is to emphasize this aspect of the decision even though for now the government will get nothing. The fact that govt. flunked shows just how bad corruption must be within the government. This is from the Tribune (Manila)

Graft-ridden GMA gov’t flunks MCC test, no US grants for RP

By Michaela P. del Callar


The Philippines under the Arroyo government has again failed to secure a large scale grant from a United States aid agency due to the long-standing problem of corruption in her government.

At a board meeting held in Washington Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) by the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), however, the Philippines was re-selected to apply anew for additional funding for its development projects.

The results of its recent corruption test, which the Philippines flunked, had a great impact on the decision of MCC Board of Directors at its quarterly meeting when its directors selected and reviewed eligible developing countries for compact funding. Manila would have received additional $500-million poverty-reduction funding from the MCC only if it had passed the MCC’s anti-corruption index.

Control of corruption is considered by the MCC as the only pass/fail indicator. No country can receive funding under the Compact program unless it passes at least half of the 17 indicators and the Control of Corruption indicator.

This is the third time, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs, that the Philippines was endorsed as Compact eligible, allowing the country to qualify for a large scale-grant for fiscal year 2010 under the Millennium Challenge Corp.’s Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) program. The MCC Board of Directors is headed by US Department of State Secretary Hillary Clinton.

“The re-selection reaffirms both MCC’s confidence in the Philippines’ high capacity as development partner and the Philippine government’s highest level of political commitment to good governance,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said, in trying to put a spin on the failure.

Romulo is optimistic that Manila would finally qualify next year following its re-selection to apply for compact funding by the MCC.


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