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Thursday, August 07, 2008

NEDA Board approves P2.6-billion New Projects with USAID Grant

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, approved about PhP2.6-billion new projects under the Environment and Energy Program as provided in the Assistance Agreement between the governments of the Philippines and the United States. Of this amount, about PhP1.99 billion* shall be provided by the United States Agency for International Development while the remaining PhP656 million shall be provided by the Philippine government and other non-government partners.

The PhP1.99 billion is part of the total USAID assistance of PhP3.2 billion (US$73 million) which covers both new and ongoing projects under the Program. The remaining PhP1.22 million (US$27.822 million) is allocated to support the implementation of ongoing activities.

An initial grant of US$13.74 million will be provided in 2008. Meanwhile, the Philippine government implementing agencies—Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Energy and Department of Finance—and non-government grantees shall provide the counterpart contributions in cash or in kind but shall not be less than the equivalent of one-third of the total USAID contribution. The implementation will cover a six-year period from October 2008 until September 2013.

The ongoing activities include: The Philippine Environmental Governance Phase 2 project, Fisheries Improved for Sustainable Harvest (FISH) project, Energy and Clean Air project, Alliance for Mindanao Off-Grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) II and Philippine Water Revolving Fund (PWRF) Technical Assistance, among others. New activities will be identified and planned during the program implementation stage.

The ongoing projects are currently being implemented under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between NEDA and the USAID for Strengthening the Management of Productive and Life-Sustaining Natural Resources signed on May 30, 2002 and amended on May 18, 2005; Memorandum of Agreement among the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government and USAID for the implementation of Environment Programs signed on June 1, 2005, and MOA among the Department of Agriculture, DILG and USAID for the implementation of the Fisheries Improved for Sustainable Harvest Project signed on March 1, 2005.

The Environment and Energy Program activities cover three areas—environment, infrastructure and health—which will be undertaken to promote economic growth and investing in people. Activities for the environment program area will focus on natural resources and biodiversity and clean productive environment while the infrastructure area will concentrate on modern energy services. The health program area will focus on water supply and sanitation.

Under the implementation arrangement, NEDA is the principal representative of the Philippine government while the implementing agencies are responsible for the overall implementation and management of their activities under the Program. The NEDA shall also facilitate coordination with other relevant lead agencies and other donor programs and provide policy guidance for the government and ensure that the objective, program areas and elements are consistent with the development strategies, plans and priorities of the government.

*US$1.00 = PhP44.00

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