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2012/13 Expenditure

$136.9 million

2013/14 Proposed Expenditure

$170.1 million


Expenditure is total official development assistance inclusive of DFAT’s bilateral program, flows from DFAT regional and global programs and other government departments.

Implementation of the revised 2013-14 budget is currently under discussion with partner governments and organisations.


Australia's approach to aid delivery in the Philippines includes increasing our policy and sectoral expertise to strengthen the impact of our aid programs. We collaborate with multilateral agencies and other bilateral donors to support common policy agendas, embedding anti-corruption measures throughout aid programs and incorporating conflict risk management and peace-building principles in Mindanao initiatives. We incorporate gender equitable and disability inclusive development approaches in our programming.

Australia has invested $387.4 million in the Philippines over the previous three years. Our investment has contributed to important development results including:

  • more than two million children in disadvantaged areas benefitting from better quality education
  • road rehabilitation projects benefitting at least 51,000 people and lowering transportation costs on select routes by at least 30 per cent
  • production of hazard maps and disaster risk information, assisting authorities in 27 provinces to reduce the impact of natural disasters.

More results can be viewed under the 'See our results' tab above.

Australia expects to provide $170.1 million in development assistance to the Philippines in 2013–14. Australia remains committed to delivering results in the Philippines and our development assistance is expected to have a resounding impact in future years. We will:

  • help schools increase student completion rates
  • assist local governments to be more transparent and accountable in their delivery of services
  • improve disaster risk management with more warning systems and better disaster contingency plans
  • improve conditions for peace and security by providing education opportunities to communities affected by armed conflict.

More on expected outcomes can be viewed under the 'See our results' tab above.


Results to 30 June 2012

  • Full immunisation of 82 per cent of children aged up to 11 months in 10 provinces since 2007 (UNICEF and Australian Aid).
  • Improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities for 26,000 children in 70 public schools.

Commitments 2012–17

  • Maternal and infant health will improve through our contribution to the UN Joint Program to assist local government services. The program aims to ensure 100 per cent of pregnant women in public health facilities deliver their babies safely.


Results to 30 June 2012

  • Better administration of school funds as 45,000 schools (85 per cent of Filipino public schools) implemented their own management systems.
  • 9,500 children in 300 pre-schools in Islamic areas have benefited from curriculums enhanced with Islamic values.
  • Australia provided expert advice to assist the Philippines introduce three additional years of schooling.

Commitments 2012–17

  • Australian aid will help train 41,000 teachers to national standards
  • Provide 15,000 out-of-school youth with technical and vocational training.
  • Build 7,500 new classrooms, providing an additional 400,000 student places.

More on education

Economic development

Results to 30 June 2012

  • 528 community development grants delivered across 60 of Philippines’ 81 provinces through the Philippines-Australian Community Assistance Program. This doubled the median monthly household income of 332,000 poor people.
  • Fifteen road rehabilitation projects completed in 2011 benefiting at least 51,000 people and lowering transportation costs on select routes by at least 30 per cent in the provinces.

Commitments 2012–17

  • Local government will be more effective in providing services for the poor, including road infrastructure.  By 2017, Australian aid will support local governments to fully disclose budgets, finance and procurement activities to the public.
  • Australian aid will support competitive tendering of 15 public-private partnership projects to facilitate $1.5 billion of new infrastructure benefiting two million Filipinos.

More on economic development


Results to 30 June 2012

  • Risk of fraud reduced in the two highest spending agencies (Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Education) through better internal audit systems.
  • Greater budget transparency, accountability and decreased risk of corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways through the introduction of an electronic accounting system.

Commitments 2012–17

  • Support to the Government to deliver on governance initiatives in the Development Plan 2010–2016 will bring greater accountability and transparency so that resources are better used for reducing corruption, improving good governance and providing basic services to the poor.
  • Strengthen internal controls and audit practices in government to improve overall integrity systems.
  • Australia will support the conduct of more credible and legitimate elections in 2013 in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

More on governance


Results to 30 June 2012

  • Essential shelter, livelihood and water and sanitation services delivered to victims of Tropical Storm Washi (2011) through $7.8 million in humanitarian assistance.
  • Early warning systems for 21 coastal communities introduced, with communities maintaining safe haven signs and regularly practising tsunami drills.
  • Australia supported an aerial survey of Manila to generate state-of-the-art climate change and risk maps, which will be incorporated into urban planning to build safer houses for poor people.

Commitments 2012–17

  • Produce detailed hazard and vulnerability maps which will provide a basis for improved comprehensive land use plans and disaster contingency planning in Metro Manila and coastal provinces.
  • Strengthen multi-hazard forecasting and monitoring by relevant technical agencies.
  • By 2017, 1,800 poor households in areas of Metro Manila considered high hazard for natural disasters will have safer and disaster-resilient housing.

More on humanitarian

Research overview

Good research can lead to positive change for the world’s poorest by enhancing the design and implementation of development policies and programs. That’s why Australian Aid is committed to an innovative research portfolio and funds research, including through:

  • competitive funding mechanisms (such as the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme)
  • research partnerships with different Australian, international and developing country research institutions
  • commissioning research to address a specific question or clearly defined research gap, and
  • one-off research grants, when an existing program of research is relevant to the Australian aid program.

More information on how Australia funds research

Research funded by Australian aid's Philippines country program specifically targets Philippine’s development challenges, and often uses Filipino academics and institutions to undertake the research. Some of the recent highlights of this research are listed below.

Improving school management

Mobilizing Local Government Units Support for Basic Education: Focus on the Special Education Fund

This discussion paper was published by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies in 2011.

Read the paper [PDF 240kb] (external website)

Australia commissioned this research as a contribution to policy discussions on basic education reform in relation to improving the implementation of school based management. Effective school management draws on the resources of all stakeholders with an interest in education—including local governments.

Delivery of basic public education in the Philippines is still highly centralised. However, local government units (LGUs) provide steady supplementary funding support for education by earmarking a part of their real property tax into a Special Education Fund (SEF). The resources that LGUs provide to the basic education sector are quite significant, amounting to 7 per cent of total government spending on basic education in 2001–2008. Thus, LGUs are considered major partners of the national government in the delivery of basic education services.

This study examines the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the SEF in terms of its collection, allocation, and utilization. It advises how to maximize LGUs support and how to promote a more equitable allocation of resources for basic education. The study finds that there is a need to improve the governance of Local School Boards (LSBs) and establish clearer guidelines on the preparation of the LSB budget. It also recommends greater transparency between the Department of Education (DepED) and LGUs in the reporting arrangements of sources and uses of resources in order to foster a better working relationship between DepED and LSB.

Successful policy reform

Built on Dreams, Grounded in Reality: Economic Policy Reform in the Philippines

This research was published by The Asia Foundation in November 2011.

Read 'Built on Dreams, Grounded in Reality: Economic Reform in the Philippines' (external website)

As part of research to inform the development of our next Philippines strategy, Australia supported The Asia Foundation to undertake a study into the factors contributing to successful policy reform. USAID also contributed funding for the research.

This volume of case studies on the Philippines economy focuses on institutional change and seeks to develop a better understanding of how human actors create this change. The cases trace the political battles involved in five successful and two unsuccessful reform efforts in the Philippines: in telecommunications, sea transport, civil aviation, water privatization, property rights legislation, tax administration and the agricultural (grain) sector.

The lessons highlighted are that:

  1. the process is iterative, non-linear and context-specific
  2. political analysis and political action are no less important than technical analysis
  3. committed local leadership is the principal reform driver
  4. development agencies can play critical supportive roles.

The volume concludes by suggesting an operational approach for achieving institutional change, referred to as ‘development entrepreneurship’. Development entrepreneurship provides one compelling pathway for development agencies to incorporate politics, manage risk, and improve aid effectiveness.

Civil society organisations in the Philippines

Civil Society Organizations in the Philippines, A Mapping and Strategic Assessment

Australia commissioned the Civil Society Resource Institute (CSRI) of the Philippines to undertake a series of studies and strategic assessments of various types of civil society organizations. The research was used to inform the design of our new Coalitions For Change initiative which will help build coalitions comprising civil society, the Philippines government and the private sector to successfully pursue change.

Development non-government organisations (NGOs), cooperatives, media NGOs and think tanks were analysed in terms of their institutional strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats they face in the political and socio-economic context in the Philippines.

Various types of people's organisations were also examined as part of the study—peasant and fisher folk organisations, labour unions, urban poor groups, women’s organizations and organisations of people with disabilities.

The study puts forward recommendations on how these organisations can be further strengthened so that they can continue playing important roles in the maturing process of Philippine democracy.

Read the CSO Mapping and Strategic Assessment

Where is the Philippines?

View Philippines in a larger map


Demographic and development statistics for the Philippines


heading fold Why we give aid


Poverty in the Philippines has been increasing since 2003 and 26.5 per cent of the total population currently live below the poverty line. Australia’s aid program is working with the government to reverse these trends.

Find out more about why we give aid to the Philippines


heading fold How we give aid

Australia is one of the largest bilateral grant aid donors to the Philippines. Our aid is delivered through partnerships with multilateral agencies, other donors, the private sector and civil society and through Australian volunteers.


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

  • Eradicate extreme hunger & poverty
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability

Demographic and development statistics for the Philippines


Last reviewed: 24 February, 2014