WASHINGTON (Nov. 16, 2011) — The Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines, understanding that development cooperation represents a sound investment in broad-based economic growth, collective prosperity and security, and democracy and human rights.
The U.S. State Department reports that on board the USS Fitzgerald in Manila Bay, Manila, Philippines, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Philippine Secretary for Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario signed the Manila Declaration.
“The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Philippines-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty,” Clinton Said. “On this historic occasion, we reflect on the rich history of our alliance and the continuing relevance of the treaty for peace, security, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. We also reaffirm the treaty as the foundation of our relationship for the next 60 years and beyond.”
The five-year program is a signature inter-agency effort of President Barack Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, which elevates economic growth in countries committed to good governance as a core priority for U.S development efforts. The PFG aligns with policy reform areas outlined by President Benigno S. Aquino III in the Philippine Development Plan.
Secretary Clinton and Secretary del Rosario signed a Statement of Principles that reflects our governments’ mutual goal to place the Philippines on a path to sustained, more inclusive economic growth, and elevate it to the ranks of high-performing emerging economies. We anticipate that the PFG will better position the Philippines in its goal of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the future.
The PFG aims to address the most significant constraints to growth and to stimulate enhanced, inclusive economic expansion. A rigorous joint analysis identified governance and fiscal space as the top constraints to growth in the Philippines.”]
Both countries have affirmed a five-year Joint Country Action Plan that prioritizes creating a more transparent, predictable, and consistent legal and regulatory regime; fostering a more open and competitive business environment; strengthening the rule of law and increase efficiency in the court system; and supporting fiscal stability through better revenue and expenditure management.
The PFG will also support the Government of the Philippines’ efforts to boost investment in priority sectors such as tourism, infrastructure, and energy; increase tax revenues to support additional spending for essential social services such as health and education; and accelerate export growth by making the Philippines more competitive on the world market.
The PFG embodies a new approach to development cooperation that embraces both traditional and non-traditional forms of assistance. The United States and the Philippines intend to take a comprehensive approach to development that reaches beyond traditional aid. The PFG will consider all the instruments both governments can bring to bear on these constraints to growth, including strategies to leverage the resources and tools of partners, especially the private sector, and to increase effectiveness of policies and institutions necessary for development.
Acknowledging that development progress requires a shared focus on sustainable outcomes and results, country ownership and responsibility, transparency, and mutual accountability; and recognizing that the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines are long-standing development partners who share a mutual commitment to broad-based economic growth, poverty reduction, democracy and human rights.
Recalling that we dedicated ourselves on January 28, 2011 to work together to accelerate and sustain broad-based and inclusive economic growth in the Philippines through the Partnership for Growth, and have now completed a rigorous joint analysis to identify key constraints to growth.
The two nations reaffirmed the core values of its long standing partnership in Manila on Nov. 16, 2011.
• We thank the joint country teams for their rigorous and extensive analysis of constraints to economic growth, representing a whole-of-government approach by the United States and the Philippines;
• We affirm the core findings of the constraints analysis, which identified improving fiscal space and strengthening governance as priorities for unlocking economic growth;
• We affirm the core objectives of the Joint Country Action Plan, which are to:
• Create a more transparent, predictable, and consistent legal and regulatory regime that is less encumbered by corruption;
• Foster a more open and competitive business environment with lower barriers to entry;
• Strengthen the rule of law grounded in an efficient court system capable of delivering timely justice; and
• Increase fiscal stability through better revenue administration and expenditure management.
• We embrace the recommendations contained in the Joint Country Action Plan, which calls on both countries to implement a broad set of actions to address these constraints together;
• We reaffirm our desire to work together to achieve results. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines intends to execute catalytic, sustainable, transparent and non-discriminatory economic reforms to spur rapid, broad-based, and inclusive economic growth, demonstrating transformational leadership to drive meaningful policy change and institutional reform. The Government of the United States of America embraces the principles of country ownership, partnership, and mutual commitment and accountability. The United States and the Philippines intend to mobilize a wide range of assistance and non-assistance instruments to increase impact, including using assistance to leverage private capital, convening the private sector to improve the investment climate, and supporting country efforts to create an enabling environment for growth.
• We reaffirm our mutual desire to implement, in accordance with our respective laws and regulations, our Joint Country Action Plan, to establish a monitoring and evaluation framework, and to form a steering committee to track progress and introduce program modifications as necessary.