A United States aid agency on Friday approved a total of 434 million dollars in grants to fund projects aimed at alleviating poverty and curbing corruption in the Philippines, dpa reported
US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas said the decision by the Millennium Challenge Corp (MCC) to approve the grant was a mark of confidence in the new government of President Benigno Aquino III.
"The MCC grant will support President Aquino's efforts to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth and combat corruption and ensure a better future for all Filipinos," he said.
"We look forward to the signing of the final agreements in the coming weeks and getting to work as soon as possible," Thomas added.
The grant is to fund the computerization and streamlining of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, to boost revenue collection and reduce corruption opportunities. It will also fund community-based rural development programmes, and the construction and repair of 220 kilometres of roads on the impoverished eastern island of Samar.The grant agreements were scheduled for signing on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. The signing will be witnessed by President Aquino