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Philippines

Overview of Australia’s aid program to the Philippines

2013/14 Estimated Outcome: $176.6 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate: $143.0 million

Australia and the Philippines are working together to promote prosperity, increase economic growth, and enhance stability both in the Philippines, and in our broader region.

The Philippine Government's priorities are to improve governance, combat corruption and reduce poverty. Australia's partnership with the Philippines supports these reforms. The 2014 Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting agreed on priorities for cooperation including: partnering for education reforms; enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth; promoting disaster preparedness; improving conditions for peace and security; and building stronger institutions for inclusive development.

Australia provides aid to the Philippines because a more prosperous and stable Philippines is good for regional cooperation, security and trade. While economic growth has been strong at 6-7 percent in 2012 and 2013, this growth has not resulted in a commensurate reduction in poverty, with almost 25 per cent of the population living on less than $1.25 per day. The Philippines is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters which in turn affect poverty and growth rates. Australia’s aid to the Philippines is designed to accelerate inclusive economic growth and enhance stability. Australia’s aid to the Philippines has yielded strong results, become known for its innovation and contributed to a robust bilateral relationship.

Australia's aid program in the Philippines works toward the over-arching objective of promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, and enhancing political stability. It is closely aligned with the priorities of the Philippine Government, and focuses on:

  • partnering on education reforms
  • enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth
  • promoting better disaster preparedness and response
  • improving conditions for peace and security
  • building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance.

Partnering on education reforms

Australia is working with the Philippine Government and with business organisations to implement reforms and provide additional classrooms for overcrowded schools. The new Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) program will improve the quality of education through better trained teachers and improved school curriculum. In Muslim Mindanao, the region with the country’s poorest education outcomes, Australia provides a comprehensive education assistance program that aims to reduce the gap in school participation and learning achievement in highly disadvantaged communities.

Partnering on education reforms

Enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth

Inadequate infrastructure investment in the Philippines is a constraint to growth. Australia is supporting the Philippine Government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) reform agenda to enhance the foundations for sustained economic development. Its objective is to deliver better services to Filipinos and increase private sector participation and investment in key areas of infrastructure including roads, railways, utilities and classrooms.

Enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth

Promoting better disaster preparedness and response

Disasters drive families into poverty and cut national growth rates. To mitigate the damage caused by natural disasters, Australia will help to build resilience by promoting disaster preparedness, improving the country’s technical knowledge on hazards and disasters, and helping communities to improve their capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters.

Promoting better disaster preparedness and response

Improving conditions for peace and security

Decades of violent conflict have left large parts of Mindanao trapped in vicious cycles of poor governance and under development, and have threatened regional stability. The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front holds much potential for progress. Australia will contribute to the peace process in Mindanao by building more capable and responsive state institutions and expanding economic opportunities for conflict-affected communities.

Improving conditions for peace and security

Building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance

Investing in effective governance will help support economic growth. Weak governance and a lack of budget transparency and accountability persist at the national and local levels and have a direct impact on the provision of basic services. Australia will strengthen the governance of public institutions in the Philippines by:

  • helping the Philippine Government to embed public finance reforms, and modernise its public financial management systems
  • helping to improve opportunities for women and girls to benefit equally from economic growth.

Building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance

Our results

Some key results from the Australian aid program in the Philippines in 2013-14 include:

  • Australia’s immediate and effective response to super-typhoon Haiyan in November 2013
    • Australia contributed $41 million to provide immediate and life-saving needs of over 3 million people
    • At least 3,281 patients were treated and 238 surgeries were performed by the Australian Medical Assistance Team
    • The Royal Australian Air Force provided much needed air transport - transporting over 1,800 metric tonnes of relief goods, 200 officials and humanitarian workers, and 3,300 survivors
    • The Australian Defence Force also helped repair 16 schools allowing 15,000 children to go back to school.
  • Building 921 classrooms and establishing 1,463 alternative community learning centres in Muslim Mindanao.
  • Supporting the Philippines Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program to achieve the signing of seven infrastructure projects worth at least USD360 million.
  • Assisting the Philippine Government implement the treasury single account resulting in savings of $10 million through the rationalisation of dormant bank accounts.
  • Providing technical assistance to the Philippine Government Negotiating Panel and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission during the peace negotiations (between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front), and funding multi-sectoral consultations that contributed to wider support and credibility of the peace negotiations.

Related documents

Building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance

Overview

Improving the quality of governance in the Philippines is fundamental to the country’s development prospects. The Philippine Government has embarked on a governance reform agenda, giving priority to transparency and accountability through more open government, better public financial management and anti-corruption efforts.

Australia will work with the Philippine Government to implement the Philippine Public Financial Management Reform Roadmap in support of practical budget and expenditure management reforms.

Targeted investments through scholarships will support efforts to modernise and strengthen government institutions to enable more effective service delivery. Australia will support multi-sectoral coalitions to strengthen civil society capacity to engage government in constructive partnerships for reform.

All our initiatives are assessed for their sensitivity and responsiveness to gender equality issues, and we report annually to the Philippine Government against their gender and development guidelines. An increasingly important priority is to ensure that our program takes account of the needs and issues affecting persons with disabilities.

Related initiatives

Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF)

$73 million, 2009-2019

National and local government bureaucracies often struggle to implement their policies and programs. Each year the Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF) supports up to 15 local agencies to help them deliver results. Australia provides a variety of short-term training, together with long-term scholarships for study in Australia. At least 600 talented Filipinos will undergo post-graduate study in Australia between 2010 and 2015. This support helps an agency to become more efficient and effective in doing business. It also helps forge enduring people-to-people links between Australia and the Philippines.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Design document, Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility 2009 Design document
Philippines—Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility, Annual Plan (June 2011–July 2012) 2011 Annual plan
Interim Annual Plan, Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility 2011 Annual plan
Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility Independent Evaluation Report 2013 Evaluation

Philippines-Australia Public Financial Management Program (PFMP)

$30 million, 2011-2016

The Philippines-Australia Public Financial Management Program (PFMP) assists the Philippine Government implement its roadmap for public financial management reform. The program began in October 2011. It builds on previous Australian assistance and expands to cover emerging reform areas. Program priorities are practical budgeting and expenditure management reforms. These provide the Philippine Government with the basic building blocks for a modern public financial management system. PFMP helps decision makers do their jobs efficiently and effectively so that Filipinos benefit from improved delivery of goods and services.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Project Design Document, Philippines—Australia Public Financial Management Program 2010 Design document
Philippines-Australia Public Financial Management Program (PFMP) Annual Plan 2011-2012 2011 Annual plan
Related links

The Asia Foundation Partnership Philippines

$13.6 million, 2011-2014

Government works best when collaborating with civil society and the private sector. Under The Asia Foundation Partnership in the Philippines, civil society will be supported and collaboration among government, civil society and private sector will be facilitated. The initial focus would be in the areas of basic education, disaster risk reduction, climate change, conflict, local service delivery, and public financial management. An activity under the Partnership, the Coalitions for Change (CfC) program will help build coalitions comprising civil society, the Philippine Government and the private sector. CfC will provide financial and technical support to enable the coalitions to build the evidence base for key reforms and to successfully pursue change.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
AusAID The Asia Foundation Partnership Agreement Philippines 2011 Agreement
Design document Coalitions for Change Program 2011 Design document

Australia-World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund

$50 million, 2009-2016

The Australia-World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund, also known as the Umbrella Trust Fund (UTF), is a single donor program trust fund. It brings together co-financed activities of Australia and the World Bank in the Philippines under one funding mechanism.

Administered by the World Bank, the UTF finances multiple grants to support analytical research, technical assistance and other investments that contribute to sustained and inclusive growth and improved governance in the Philippines.

Project ideas are discussed and designed by Australian Aid and World Bank staff, and are approved and monitored by a joint Australian Aid – World Bank Steering Committee. The Umbrella Trust Fund is able to respond to the emerging needs of the Philippine Government, particularly for research and technical assistance.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Australia World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund Operational Guidelines 2009 Operational guidelines
Midterm Review of the AusAID-World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund 2012 Progress review

Enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth

Overview

The Philippines has experienced historically solid economic growth of around five per cent per annum over the past decade. However, growth in the Philippines has been narrow – reliant on remittances from Filipinos working overseas to feed local consumption, and primarily limited to the sectors of electronic exports, business process outsourcing, services and construction. The investment climate has been undermined by a history of weak governance (particularly corruption), political instability and security concerns, poor infrastructure and high energy costs.

With Australian support, provincial governments in the Philippines are introducing good governance reforms to enable sustainable economic development, including establishing transparent and effective financial and human resources management systems, increasing local revenues through strengthened tax collection and linking planning to budget.

Australia is also helping the Philippine Government implement its ambitious public-private partnerships reform agenda. Australian support is helping develop a stronger policy, legal, institutional and regulatory environment for public-private partnerships in the Philippines.

Related initiatives

Provincial Road Management Facility

$100 million, 2009-2015

Australia supports improved local government transparency and accountability for better service delivery to the poor through the Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF). Upgrading roads is straightforward, but ensuring their upkeep is harder. So PRMF works with local government in 10 provinces to encourage them to invest more of their own money in road maintenance and to change the way they do maintenance.

Since the program began:

  • all 10 provincial governments are now spending more of their own funds on maintaining core provincial roads with increased spending averaging more than 35 per cent
  • procurement structures and systems have been put in place in all 10 provinces that comply with Philippine Government procurement law
  • provinces have developed and implemented multi-year human resource management and development plans to support local road service delivery.
Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Design Document, Provincial Road Management Facility 2008 Design document
Monitoring Report 2010 Progress review
PRMF Independent Progress Review 2012 Independent progress review
Related links

Strengthening Public Private Partnership Program

$30 million, 2011-2016

There is a critical shortage of infrastructure in the Philippines that constrains growth and poverty reduction. Australia supports the Philippine Government's efforts to fast-track the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to help meet the country’s infrastructure needs. Australia’s $30 million program will contribute to over $1 billion in new or improved infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals, roads and public transport. Australia is partnering with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) in delivering the PPP program.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Fact sheet, AusAID Support to Strengthen Public Private Partnerships in the Philippines 2011 Fact sheet
Project Design, AusAID—ADB—CIDA Strengthening Public Private Partnership 2011 Design document

Improving conditions for peace and security

Overview

Four decades of insecurity and conflict in Mindanao have also been economically and socially damaging. Large parts of Mindanao have been trapped in vicious cycles of conflict, poor governance and underdevelopment. Insecurity has also created threats to national and regional security. The finalisation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front holds much potential for improvements and progress.

Australia is a long-standing supporter of efforts to secure a lasting peace in Mindanao. Australia’s aid program in Mindanao supports our national interests of stability and prosperity in the region by providing practical support for the peace process in Mindanao. In recent years Australian aid has encouraged dialogue between the military and communities to improve security, deepened women’s engagement in the peace process, funded a major study in the shadow economy in Mindanao, and supported election monitoring.

Read the Delivery Strategy for Mindanao conflict-affected areas

Related initiatives

Building Autonomous and Stable Institutions and Communities in the Bangsamoro (BASIC Bangsamoro)

$5.5 million, 2014-2017

The conflict between Moro separatist groups and the Philippine Government has been a major obstacle to development in Mindanao for more than 40 years. Human Development Indicators in conflict-affected parts of Mindanao are consistently below the rest of the country, with instability also creating threats to national and regional security. The cost of these conflicts has been immense, in both human and economic terms.

The finalisation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in March 2014 is the most positive step towards resolution of the conflict in recent decades and holds much potential progress towards peace.

Australia’s BASIC Bangsamoro is a three year competitive grants program which aims to support the implementation of the CAB between the Philippine Government and the MILF, and promote long-term stability and development in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao. To achieve this, BASIC Bangsamoro will focus on:

  1. Improving institutional capacity to implement the peace agreement
  2. Ensuring the peace process is more credible and widely supported
  3. Strengthening local mechanisms for averting escalation of conflict
Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Building Autonomous and Stable Institutions and Communities in the Bangsamoro (BASIC Bangsamoro) Competitive Grant Program Guidelines 2014 Grant guidelines

Partnering on education reforms

Overview

Education is the flagship of Australia’s program of development cooperation with the Philippines. Australia is the lead bilateral grant donor in basic education, contributing over $30 million annually.

Basic education in the Philippines is facing a crisis: education outcomes are poor and enrolment and retention rates are stagnant. The Government of the Philippines has signalled its commitment to addressing this challenge.

Australia welcomes the government’s efforts to provide a pathway out of poverty by increasing investment in education and focusing on the delivery of quality education. The Australian and Philippine Governments are working in partnership to address the enormous challenges associated with fixing an education system under stress, while continuing to implement vital reforms.

An important reform includes the transition to the kindergarten to year twelve international standard school cycle.

Related initiatives

Basic Education Sector Transformation Program

$150 million, 2014-2019

The Basic Education Sector Transformation Program (BEST) supports the Government of the Philippines in implementing its ‘K to 12’ education reform agenda, which adds three years of mandatory schooling to bring the Philippines education system in line with ASEAN and international standards. BEST is expected to benefit around 19,000 schools and 8 million boys and girls in the Philippines.

BEST will assist the Department of Education to develop new curriculum, assessment methods and materials; provide 1,000 scholarships to train new teachers and provide in-service training to 240,000 existing teachers; establish a unified management and information system; and build 1,000 classrooms (about half of which are in Typhoon Haiyan affected areas), 40 science and computer laboratories and two Indigenous People’s Learning Centres.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
BEST Program design document 2012 Design document

Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

$85 million, 2011-2017

The Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao program in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) focuses on the most disadvantaged, poor and conflict affected communities. This program tackles the issue of low numbers of children who enroll in school, and stay to complete their schooling. It also addresses poor learning results in elementary and secondary schools.

It will enable about 40,000 children to access pre-school and elementary school. It will provide: pre-school classes in around 1,300 remote Muslim communities; education for children affected by conflict; 1,500 classrooms; and 100 water facilities. It will establish six centres to produce learning materials and provide health programs in 300 schools. It will improve livelihood skills for 15,000 out-of-school youth.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Grant Agreement for Alternative Delivery Model (ADM) and Program Design Document (PDD) 2012 Agreement
Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) Component 1a: Early Childhood Education—Project with UNICEF—Annual Report 1 May 2011 to 30 April 2012 2011 Annual report
Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) Component 2: School Health Project—Project with GIZ/Fit for School—Annual Progress Report 2011 Annual report
Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) Component 4: Alternative Delivery Model of Education for Children in Remote Communities—Project with BRAC—Progress Report 2012 Progress report

Philippines Social Protection Initiative

$38 million, 2009-2016

This initiative supports the Philippine Government's social protection reform agenda. A key partner is the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development. The program supports the design, implementation and evaluation of the Conditional Cash Transfer Program and the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Grant Agreement on the Provision of a Technical Assistance Unit in the Department of Social Work and Development for the Social Protection Reform TA Facility 2011 Agreement
Exchange of Letters Amendment to the Grant Agreement on the Provision of a Technical Assistance Unit in the Department of Social Work and Development for the Social Protection Reform TA Facility 2012 Agreement
Grant Agreement on the Provision of Bridging Leadership for Convergence Training Program to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 2012 Agreement
Philippines Social Protection Initiative: Technical Assistance Facility Annual Report for 2011 2012 Annual report
Philippines Social Protection Initiative: Grant Agreement for Supporting the Assessment of Pilot Bottom-Up Processes in Planning and Budgeting 2012 Agreement

Promoting better disaster preparedness and response

Overview

Due to its position in the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ and the typhoon belt of the western north Pacific basin, the Philippines is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, experiencing regular earthquake and volcanic activity, plus an annual average of 20 tropical cyclones. The 2013 World Risk Index of the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security ranked the Philippines as the third country most vulnerable and exposed to natural disasters.

Damage from natural disasters has a major impact on people living in poverty. Australia is working with the Philippine Government to promote better long-term disaster preparedness in order to mitigate the social and economic shocks of disasters. Our assistance is helping to improve the country’s technical knowledge on hazards and disasters, mainstream disaster considerations into policies, and work with governments and communities to improve their capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters. Through the aid program, Australia recently assisted with hazard and risk mapping using LIDAR technology and this is now guiding urban planning and disaster preparation mechanisms of 24 local government units and 150 communities in greater metropolitan Manila. Australia previously introduced multi-hazard mapping for 28 vulnerable provinces including setting up of community early warning systems involving evacuation signs and regular tsunami drills, and helping communities better prepare for and cope with future disaster.

Related initiatives

Disaster and Climate Risks Management Initiative

$43 million, 2006-2016

Australia has a strong focus on climate change and disaster risk management in its aid program. Australia works with the Philippine Government and NGOs to reduce disaster risks. This reflects a hard truth: while we cannot stop earthquakes, typhoons or flooding, we can act to prevent the death, hardship and economic damage disasters regularly cause.

First, state-of-the-art analysis is undertaken to better understand the risks. Australian agencies share knowledge and expertise to increase the skills and capacity of Philippines agencies to forecast and analyse risks. Second, we help translate this understanding of risk into practical action. Communities and local governments are empowered to prepare for and respond to disasters. The most vulnerable 27 provinces will have accurate disaster risk maps. 1,600 regional and local planners are being trained to consider disaster and climate change issues in their plans and programs. About six million people benefit from community-based disaster preparedness activities.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Philippines Disaster and Climate Risks Management GMMA READY Project Document 2011 Design document
Philippines Disaster and Climate Risks Management Red Cross 143 Project Document 2008 Design document
Post-Disaster Surveillance in the Philippines: An External Review of the Surveillance for Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters Program 2012 Evaluation report
Mid-Term Review and Evaluation Report of the Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Local Development Planning and Decision-Making Processes 2012 Evaluation report
Rising to the Call: Good Practices in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the Philippines 2011 Publication
Transformations: Women's Stories of Resilience and Challenges in the Time of Ondoy 2011 Publication

Building the Resilience and Awareness of Metro Manila Communities to Natural Disaster and Climate Change Impacts (BRACE) Program

$15 million, 2010-2015

The Building the Resilience and Awareness of Metro Manila Communities to Natural Disaster and Climate Change Impacts (BRACE) Program helps reduce the vulnerability of urban poor families to natural disasters.

Around 9,000 people will have safe in-city housing and 650,000 men and women will be trained to prepare for disasters.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
BRACE Program Design Document 2011 Design document

Last reviewed: 16 December, 2014