Remarks by Gloria D. Steele, USAID Mission Director, Launch of Second Solicitation of Philippine-American Fund

Monday, December 8, 2014

[As Prepared]

Acknowledgements: Ms. Judy Araneta Roxas, President, Gerry Roxas Foundation, Mr. Washington SyCip, Founding Chair of SyCip Gorres, Velayo, Ms. Ma. “Monette” Rosamund R. Parado, GRF Executive Director, Mr. “Eugene” M. Gonzales, Phil-Am Fund Chief of Party, Civil society representatives, Leaders of business, university, and other sectors, Ladies and gentlemen, Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat!

On behalf of the American people and the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), I am honored to be here today for the Manila launch of the Philippine-American Fund second grant solicitation.

USAID established the Philippine-American Fund - or the Phil-Am Fund - just over a year ago. It is a $24 million grant facility and to date, we have awarded grants to twelve deserving Filipino civil society organizations.

Each of these organizations advance Philippine prosperity and stability in their own way. They promote good corporate governance and watershed management, preserve biodiversity and protect children from human trafficking. Their years of experience range from seven to thirty-five years. And, their work spans the entire country, from Ilocos in the north, down to Naga City, Antique, Cebu, further on to Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, and South Cotabato in Mindanao.

The Phil-Am Fund is a unique and exciting project. On one hand, it furthers the goals of the bilateral Partnership for Growth to achieve broad-based, inclusive, and resilient growth in the Philippines. The Phil-Am Fund contributes to this by empowering local, non-state organizations to come up with their own solutions to tackle key development challenges. In this way, the Phil-Am Fund is an innovation fund that allows novelty and thinking outside-of-the-box.

Secondly, the Phil-Am Fund represents the commitment of the U.S. Government to support the fundamental role of civil society organizations in development. Institutions like yours generate jobs through innovation and entrepreneurship, and connect those in the public and private sector to boost the country’s competitiveness. Institutions like yours also advocate for more accountable and transparent governance, and give voice to the economic and social aspirations of the Filipino people.

USAID is excited to see new ideas and new partners in the future grantees of the Philippine-American Fund. Good luck to those will apply to the Fund, and best wishes in your continued work to improve the lives of the Filipino people.

Thank you!

Issuing Country