Saturday, November 3, 2012

Top USAID official to visit PHL to launch development projects

A top official from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will be in the Philippines next week to unveil Washington's new development projects aimed at addressing serious constraints to economic growth in the country. Eric Postel, Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau of Economic Growth, Education and Environment, will be in the country from Nov. 5 to 8, the US Embassy in Manila said Friday. He will meet with high-level Philippine government officials, business chambers, and other stakeholders to discuss the US-Philippines Partnership for Growth (PFG) initiative launched in November 2011 by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario. The PFG provides a new framework for deepening and strengthening bilateral engagement to promote broad-based and inclusive economic growth. The program is intended to mobilize the resources of both countries to speed up economic growth in the Philippines. While in Manila, Postel will launch a new partnership between USAID and the City of Valenzuela that will implement the use of mobile money in the city’s financial transactions under the Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money Project. The project will help cut administrative costs, increase transparency, reduce potential leakage, and make transacting with government easier for citizens. These objectives also support USAID Forward, an initiative which focuses on innovation and the application of technology to achieve high-impact development. Along with Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Postel will also participate in the launch of the USAID-supported Judicial Strengthening for Court Effectiveness Project that seeks to improve the efficiency of Philippine courts. This project aims to enhance the ability of justice institutions to resolve court cases and commercial disputes and to strengthen the integrity of the justice sector. Postel will be accompanied by Paula Reed Lynch, Managing Director of the Policy Analysis Office for the Office of US Foreign Assistance Resources at the US Department of State. –KG