US, South Korea ink MOU to expand development goals in PH

Published April 8, 2021, 10:27 AM

by Roy Mabasa

The development agencies of the United States and the Republic of Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance and promote development goals in the Philippines.

US Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires John Law

“The United States is proud to partner with the Korean government on projects to promote mutual development goals in the Philippines. Together, we are supporting the Philippine government in creating a more prosperous, sustainable society for all Filipinos,” said US Chargé d’Affaires Law shortly after the signing of the MOU on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at the US Embassy in Manila.

Joining Law in the signing ceremony were South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Inchul Kim, USAID Philippines Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II, and Acting KOICA Philippines Country Director Jasesang Hwang.

The MOU aims to strengthen U.S. – South Korean partnership to foster sustainable development as both sides, through the USAID and KOICA, agreed to explore additional areas of cooperation in the Philippines. It builds upon a global MOU for development cooperation signed by USAID in Washington, DC and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2019.

USAID and KOICA’s development assistance programs include poverty reduction in rural areas, empowerment of women and girls, water resource management, community rehabilitation in Marawi, and climate resilience.

Ambassador Kim said his government was glad to enhance its partnership with the U.S. under the MOU in promoting sustainable and inclusive development in the Philippines.

“Together with the U.S., Korea hopes to reach out to the Filipinos in the Bayanihan spirit, which is at the heart of Korea’s development cooperation efforts in the Philippines,” the Korean diplomat added.

The US and Korea are among the largest bilateral donors in the Philippines. South Korea has expanded its development assistance in both grants and budgetary support and is the second-largest development assistance donor in the Philippines over the past 30 years.

The U.S. has a robust foreign assistance portfolio and has provided more than $5.1 billion (Php247.5 billion) in support to the Philippines since 1961.