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Philippines

 
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Philippines

Development Assistance

Official development assistance (ODA) includes grants and loans at concessional rates from official donors, both bilateral (individual country) and multilateral (e.g., the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank). In the early independence period, 90 percent of aid was bilateral grant aid, almost entirely from the United States. By the 1960s, however, there was growing assistance from multilateral organizations and Japan, 85 to 90 percent of which was in the form of loans (see table 17, Appendix). During the 1970s and 1980s, concessionary loans became the dominant mode of assistance from all sources, averaging in excess of 80 percent of the total (see table 18, Appendix).

Following Aquino's accession to the presidency in 1986, ODA increased, primarily from the United States, Japan, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. In the first three years of the Aquino government, 1986 to 1988, concessionary loan commitments increased 60 percent above the last three years of the Marcos regime, 1983-85, from an average of US$764 million to US$1,233 million per year. Grant-aid commitments increased even more, jumping 150 percent from an average of US$195 million to an average of US$486 million.

In November 1987, a bipartisan group of four members of the United States Congress proposed a major multinational aid initiative--a "mini Marshall Plan"--to help the Philippines address the manifold economic problems that were the legacy of the Marcos regime, support economic reform in that country, and help ensure the return of the Philippines to democracy. The initial proposal suggested US$5 billion in additional aid over a five-year period, along with a substantial increase in private foreign investment. By the time the program was announced, the goal of the Multilateral Aid Initiative had risen to $10 billion, mainly, but not always, divided equally between ODA and private investment.

At the request of Japan, the Multilateral Aid Initiative-- also referred to as the Philippine Assistance Plan--was set up under the Consultative Group, a group of international agencies and countries established in 1971 at the request of the Marcos government to coordinate assistance programs to the Philippines and chaired by the World Bank. The Multilateral Aid Initiative was clearly meant to precipitate a substantially larger flow of aid than had been committed to the Philippines in the two years since Marcos had fled the country.

The first Multilateral Aid Initiative pledging session, held in Tokyo, July 3-5, 1989, resulted in aid commitments of US$2.8 billion, plus US$600 million in debt relief by the Japanese. In the Philippines, the extent of "additional" aid was cast as a measure of international support for the Aquino regime. The country had received official development assistance commitments of about US$2.4 billion in 1988. Given that figure and estimates of the size of aid projects that were then under discussion between the Philippines and potential donors, estimates of new funds generated at the Tokyo pledge session ranged from US$250 million to US$1.5 billion to the full US$3.4 billion. The government, accordingly, received criticisms or plaudits as one judged the extent of success in generating new funds.

In 1990 there was no pledging session, reportedly because of the suspension of the IMF agreement in March 1990. A second session was held in Hong Kong on February 25 and 26, 1991, with a total of US$3.3 billion pledged. The Philippine government reported that by the end of 1990, the full amount pledged at the Tokyo session had been committed; however, actual disbursements were only US$839 million. Donor government representatives at the Hong Kong session expressed support publicly for the enactment of economic policies that Aquino advisers had worked out with the IMF, as well as concern over the resistance of the Philippine Congress to their implementation. The size of pledges and the willingness to comment on internal Philippine policy issues indicated that the donor nations hoped that the Philippines would be able to undertake a viable economic program but were concerned that it would be unable to do so.

Data as of June 1991

Philippines - TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • The Economy

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