$24M US grant facility set for rollout

MAKATI CITY (MindaNews / 26 September) – A United States-funded grant facility worth $24 million is set to be rolled out to strengthen initiatives in five key development areas, including promoting entrepreneurship, in the country.

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. said the project is in line with the Partnership for Growth (PFG), a bilateral engagement “that seeks to assist the Philippines achieve the goal of moving from a low growth path to a higher, sustained and more inclusive growth trajectory in line with other high-performing emerging economies.”

“We want to see the Philippines become an economic tiger. We also want to see the Philippines improve its economic standing in ASEAN,” he said Tuesday at the Kapihan sa Embahada here.

The PFG, which was signed by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, is a P40-billion US assistance package intended to enhance economic opportunities and other development initiatives in the country, he said.

Thomas said the US government remains committed to helping the Philippines achieve economic growth.

The US government considers the strategic importance of the Philippines as a staunch ally in the Asia Pacific region, a PFG briefer said.

In line with the PFG initiatives, the soon-to-be launched project is called the Philippine-American (Phil-Am) Fund.

The Phil-Am Fund acts as a grant-making facility in the areas of enterprise development and entrepreneurship, governance and transparency, human trafficking, education and environment.

The Gerry Roxas Foundation won the contract to implement the Phil-Am Fund. The other project partner is SyCip Gorres Velayo and Co.

Ma. Rosamund Parado, the foundation’s executive director, said on Tuesday the Phil-Am Fund will be launched in Manila on September 30 and on October 2 in Cebu.

The launching for Mindanao has yet to be set, she added.

Parado urged groups to grab the opportunity by submitting proposals anchored on the five focus areas.

Besides providing seed grants, the Phil-Am Fund will also build the capacity of grantees by providing training in project and financial management, a project briefer said.

The fund is open to local private for-profit and non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, universities, research organization, professional associations, faith-based and community organizations and other special interest groups.

In some cases and pre-determined caps, proposals from US organizations may also be accepted, the briefer said.

Parado said that for local groups, there’s “no funding cap for project proposals.”