The main objective of the consultation, the second of three scheduled in the country, is “to assess the EC Philippine Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 in order to update its relevance.” Last Monday, the first consultation was held at the Marriott Hotel in Cebu City. The third is slated in Manila on March 9.
The country strategy paper is the European Commission's blueprint in providing development assistance to the Philippines. The strategy paper defines the priorities to be addressed under the bilateral programme for the Philippines, but also identifies country-specific concerns to be taken into account in the EC's global thematic programmes.
In its website, the European Union delegation in the Philippines said that the review “is thus a timely opportunity for us to take into consideration the evolution in needs and priorities of all actors involved, and to take these into account in our future development cooperation program.”
Nicholas Taylor, head of the operations section of the Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines, said that these consultation sessions are in line with the European Commission's commitment to alignment with national priorities, harmonization between development actors and consultation with state and non-state actors.
The EC-Philippine Strategy Paper covers an overall allocation of €130 million (roughly P87.10 billion) to fund programs which are then identified in the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP).
Among the participants to the consultations are development organizations working on the areas of peace and development, education, health, agriculture and fisheries, environment, gender, food and security.
Some human rights and humanitarian aid, gender and poverty alleviation organizations from all over Mindanao are also joining the consultation that will start at 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
These organizations include the Mindanao Peoples Caucus, Bantay Ceasefire, United Youth for Peace and Development, Mindanao Commission on Women and the National Democratic Institute, among others. (Romy Elusfa / MindaNews contributor)