India commits $50,000 for at least 5 'quick impact projects' in PH

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. and Indian Ambassador Shambhu Kumaran signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Tuesday, Feb. 7, granting the Philippine government $50,000 each for its quick impact projects.

In a press briefing, Abalos explained that the grant will be earmarked for “quick impact projects’’ where a committee will identify at least five projects nationwide that can be availed by local government units (LGUs).

He said it is up to the DILG to look for the qualified LGUs, saying “so on my mind right now, I think it is where this help is needed is the poorest and even those geographically isolated places so that they could feel the basic things like water, electricity, even roads at that.’’

“So itong bigay na grant na ito ay for quick impact projects, yung mararamdaman kaagad ng mga kababayan natin sa ibaba. Ito ay limang proyekto na ibaba kaagad. So merong committee na itatayo na rin para siya mag-aaral kung ano ano ito (This grant is for quick impact projects that will immediately be felt by our countrymen on the ground. This are five projects that will be delivered outright. There will be a committee that will be created to scrutinize what these projects are),’’ Abalos stated.

For his part, Kumaran said “the idea is that this shall we say gestation, short gestation, quick impact projects that make an impact at the grassroots and the idea is that we have a bunch of projects. We start with five, it could go to 10, it could go 20 over a period of time so that the idea is we move quickly to identify the projects.’’

He pointed out that the grant may be used to finance education, health, energy or infrastructure programs of the Philippine government.

“The idea is we can bring this very quickly, no administrative cost, just goes in straight and we do a very short process that has tangible benefits that can be seen very quickly,’’ he added.

The Indian ambassador stated that the grant is purely out of friendship: "No conditions attached, purely out of friendship. It is just like between brothers here.’’