|Cooperation with the EU|
The European Union's support to the Philippines' development process dates back to 1976, when, for the first time, funds were committed to co-finance NGO grassroots development actions in the country. Long-term and structured development co-operation only started in 1986, with the Aquino Administration's commitment to democratic development.
The European Commission adopted in 2007 the 'The Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013' for the Philippines, a five-year strategy for its technical and financial assistance to the country, the operational and financial translation of which is made in the 'Multi-Annual Indicative Programme'. This strategy paper was prepared in consultation with the Government of the Philippines and the EU Member States and takes into account EU's goals and policies, the Philippines' development agenda, and past and ongoing EC co-operation experiences.
EC cooperation for the period 2007-2013 has a financial allocation of €130 million and will focus on:
- Helping the Philippines meet its MDGs through more equitable access to basic social services
- Supporting the political reform processes, enhancing good governance, providing support to boost trade and investment flows, and restoring peace and security, especially in Mindanao
The financial allocation for the MIP 2007-2010 period is €61 million, with the following breakdown:
- €36 million for access to basic social services - health
- €6.5 million for trade related assistance
- €6.5 million for strategic projects facility (to be managed directly by the EC Delegation in Manila)
- €12 million for the Mindanao Multi-Donor Trust Fund
The MIP for 2011-2013 is expected to have a total envelope of approximately €69 million.
RP-EU Technical Cooperation on Human Rights
In April 2008, the Philippines and EC have reached a landmark agreement to pursue technical assistance cooperation on the promotion and protection of human rights. The project aims to effectively address issues on extra-judicial killings. The respective authorities agreed on the main elements of the EU technical assistance package, known as European Union Justice Assistance Mission or EUJAM. The Philippines and EC are now negotiating the terms of the Financing Agreement which lays down the objective, mandate and responsibilities of participating agencies in the program.
EUJAM focuses on strengthening the criminal pillars and the independent institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the Ombudsman. This also includes strengthening the capabilities of the different Philippine agencies in monitoring human rights issues and cases.
EC Funding on Mindanao
On 3 October 2008, the European Commission approved the funding to address the plight of civilian victims of the conflict in Mindanao. It pledged up to a total of €7 Million to help those affected by the violent incidents in the region which started in July and facilitate the rehabilitation of displaced persons and host communities affected by the conflict.
Four Million Euro (€ 4 M) is earmarked for humanitarian assistance to cover food, water, sanitation, shelter and health care, while Three Million Euro (€ 3 M) will go to rehabilitation assistance that would address victims who are repeatedly displaced by conflicts and suffering from psycho-social problems. The funding is coordinated by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) in collaboration with the UN agencies, International Red Cross and NGOs.
The new funding is separate from the Development Cooperation Agreement (Multi-annual Indicative Programme) signed by the Philippines and EC governments covering the period 2007-2010. The agreement provides for financing support to address poverty alleviation, sustainable development and good governance. Under this aid programme, Twelve Million Euro (€ 12 M) has been allocated for the Mindanao peace process.
The new funding is also separate from the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) established in 2005 by the World Bank to strengthen multilateral assistance to conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.