A United States agency has put on hold a decision to fund a second anti-poverty program in the Philippines but Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia shrugged off the development saying the country could live with less aid.
The Millennium Challenge Corp (MCC), a US poverty reduction agency, earlier said on its website that its board had “deferred a vote on the reselection of the Philippines for compact development, subject to further review of concerns around rule of law and civil liberties”.
US embassy press attache Molly Koscina said the MCC would continue to monitor unfolding events in the Philippines, but like all country partners, it needed to demonstrate “commitment to the rule of law, due process and respect for human rights”.
The MCC’s first five-year $434 million compact with the Philippines closed in May.
“It’s not going to be anything of significance. And given the amount of investments that many countries are interested in putting in, I would not lose sleep over that,” he said.