Diokno on withdrawal for 2nd MCC grant: We want policy independence

By , on December 20, 2017

Diokno (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)
Diokno (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA — The Philippines withdrew its  application for second assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) for policy independence.

Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno, in a briefing Wednesday, stressed this as he said President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants to implement projects under this term without any external intervention.

He said funding offers from donors should be given “out of the goodness of your heart” without any consequence.

“Kung gusto mong magbigay, magbigay ka out of the goodness of your heart pero ‘wag kami paki-alamanan. (If you want to help give it out of the goodness of your heart but don’t meddle with us),” he said.

Diokno said the Philippine government even returned funds such as those given by the European Union (EU) to ensure that implementation of projects under the Duterte government would not be hampered by rules set by any organization.

He stressed that not getting the MCC grant is not a loss for the Philippine government because the country continues to receive funding offers from various countries like Japan, China and South Korea.

He said these countries even compete to fund projects under the Duterte administration because of the positive economic outlook of the country.

Amid the Philippine government’s withdrawal for an MCC grant, the Budget chief said being considered as a possible beneficiary for a grant from the independent US government agency is already a plus.

“We should be happy with that,” he added.

MCC, in a statement issued on Dec. 19, 2017 after the meeting of its Board, said the Philippine government’s decision to withdraw its application for a second compact grant is a positive development.

“MCC is proud of the achievements of our first compact with the Philippines, and both MCC and the United States are proud of our longstanding positive relationship,” it said.

MCC’s initial grant to the Philippines amounted to PHP434 million and was implemented in May 2011 until May 2016. (PNA)