Today is: Thu, May 23, 2013
Participation of the private sector is critical to the achievement of Partnership for Growth objectives. Under a scenario of a constrained fiscal space, the private sector plays a particularly important role in providing the capital needed by the Government of the Philippines to fund key growth-accelerating infrastructure and other development programs. It provides the entrepreneurial and innovative energy needed to create employment opportunities and promote inclusivity.
From FYs 2004-2012, USAID/Philippines has leveraged about $1.31 billion from public-private partnerships. For every $1 of USAID assistance, some 34 partnerships generated about $10.72 of resources from foreign and local private corporations, foundations and NGOs, and national and local governments. The partnerships cover a wide range of activities that are mainly based on the core competencies of our private sector partners.
USAID partnership with the Rural Bankers’ Association of the Philippines has directly worked with more than 130 banks with more than 1,700 branches and other banking offices to profitably provide financial services to microentrepreneurs, small farmers, and low-income households. These banks have disbursed over three million loans totaling almost $1 billion to more than one million new microfinance, microagri and housing microfinance borrowers. The banks also manage over 1.4 million microdeposit accounts.
USAID partnership with telecom operators, rural banks, NGOs and the GPH pioneered early initiatives in 2004 to make use of mobile money to support microenterprise access to financial services. Since then, rural banks have processed more than 2.9 million mobile money-enabled transactions valued at over US$365 million.
Building on this early success and consistent with USAID’s Better Than Cash Alliance, USAID in partnership with the GPH through the Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) project seeks to further promote financial inclusion by boosting expansion of mobile money. SIMM targets large or regular payment streams such as electronic payroll, government services, and the payment system. In partnership with the GPH, we are working with financial institutions, mobile network operators, merchant establishments, SMEs, learning institutions, NGOs and the general business community. By promoting mobile money, we not only improve financial inclusion, but we also reduce “leakage” that occurs when transactions are conducted in cash.
The Alliance for Mindanao Off-Grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) is a rural electrification project which uses renewable energy technologies. It is a joint undertaking of USAID with private sector partners such as Mirant Foundation and SunPower Foundation, the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE), and the government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Since 2002, AMORE has helped over 100,000 people in 474 villages in Mindanao gain access to electricity using clean energy technologies. AMORE has also worked private sector partners such as Coca-Cola Foundation, Intel Foundation, and Rotary Clubs to support water supply and education services in the remote off-grid villages. More than 40,000 people have gained access to improved potable water supply systems and more than 18,000 students now benefit from distance education facilities powered by solar photovoltaic systems.
The Philippines has the 9th largest burden of tuberculosis in the world. About 75 people die daily from this curable disease and 60 percent of TB deaths occurs in the 15-64 years age group. The TB DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short Course) program in the workplace is helping companies set up TB control and prevention programs. The workplace is a major focus area for DOTS since majority of TB cases are in the working age group. The partnership among private companies, the Department of Health, and local governments benefits employees and their dependents, contractors and the businesses’ immediate communities. There are now 123 companies engaged in the workplace TB initiative and 39 companies with an MOU with DOTS service providers.
In support of the GPH universal access to health care agenda, the Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan (LBK) health promotion initiative is a health caravan which brings health information and services to isolated and disadvantaged communities, and marshals commitment and resources from private and public partners. Customized with consultation and exam rooms for pre- and post-delivery and childcare with integrated family planning and nutrition counseling, the bus serves as a catalyst for action once it arrives in the rural location. Since March 2011, LBK benefitted some 38,404 women, children and men.
In education and workforce development, USAID partners with local and international foundations to improve access to quality basic education and livelihood skills for in-school and out-of–school youth in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao. Activities include a book transfer program with Brother’s Brother Foundation and logistics support from the U.S. military, school building and rehabilitation with Petron Foundation, dictionary distribution with National Book Store Foundation, and computer literacy training for teachers with Microsoft. About $72 million has been leveraged from these partnerships. Accomplishments include: 465,574children/youth learners benefited, 2,006 classrooms and community learning centers constructed or repaired, and 43,960 out-of-school youth (OSY) participating in workforce development programs.
The Mission is also partnering with the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines to support their work on policy reform advocacy. This continues AMCHAM work on "Arangkada," which identified constraints to business growth and competitiveness, and recommended growth sectors. “Arangkada” was a key reference for the PFG constraints analysis team, and the Philippine Development Plan. President Aquino attended the first year anniversary of the publication recently.