As President Biden announced today, the U.S. Agency for International Development will provide $135 million, subject to Congressional approval, in new assistance to reinforce the United States’ commitment to the Philippines and its role in a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The funding, announced during a visit to the White House by Philippines President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., underscored the partnership between the United States and the Philippines.
This additional funding from USAID will promote investment, innovation, and inclusive prosperity in the Philippines; expand education opportunities for Filipinos in both countries; and accelerate health security, clean energy transitions, environmental protection, disaster preparedness, and more to advance an inclusive and resilient Philippines. Specifically, the new assistance announced today from USAID will support:
- Open RAN Interoperability Lab: To advance the Philippines’ 5G rollout, strengthen its innovation economy, and provide digital upskilling opportunities to Philippine workers, the United States, with the Asia Open RAN Academy, will establish a brick-and-mortar Open RAN Interoperability Lab in Manila, subject to Congressional approval. The Lab will provide hands-on training to current and aspiring 5G professionals and provide an opportunity for vendors and operators deploying open RAN worldwide to teach and educate local engineers in how to design, build, and operate these networks. The Lab will work in partnership with the Asia Open RAN Academy, a public-private partnership of USAID, local Philippine universities, and companies such as Philippines network operators, NOW Telecom, PLDT Smart Communications, and Globe Telecom, as well as international technology firms.
- Supporting World-Class Universities in the Philippines: USAID will launch a $30 million higher education partnership, pending availability of funds, to strengthen the Philippine education system, working with Philippine universities to expand their innovation, workforce development, and entrepreneurship capabilities in areas such as curriculum development, faculty development, higher education policy and management, research, and community engagement.
- Advance Transparent and Sustainable Infrastructure Development: USAID will work with Congress to provide $5 million to support the Government of the Philippines to scale up the country’s infrastructure that is necessary to drive economic growth and improve connectivity. This assistance will include supporting project preparation and developing public-private partnership structures on critical public infrastructure projects including railways, ports and transport systems, with a greater focus on transparency, participation and stakeholder engagement in the entire infrastructure project cycle. This builds on USAID's existing partnership with the Government of the Philippines to strengthen government capacity to deliver high-quality public investment projects. Under this technical assistance, USG will work closely with the Philippine government in identifying these priority projects.
- Partner on Critical Minerals: USAID will invest an additional $5 million to support increased production of processed minerals and expand downstream mineral industries in the Philippines, such as production of electric vehicle components and ICT equipment, while improving governance standards in the mining industry, subject to Congressional approval.
- Support Clean Energy Auctions: USAID will partner with the Philippines Department of Energy to conduct the Philippines’ second round of clean energy auctions – bidding out a combined 11.6GW of solar, onshore wind, biomass and waste-to-energy capacity to be installed from 2024 to 2026, representing nearly half the country’s current energy capacity.
- Promote Climate-Resilient Water Security: USAID assistance will mobilize $100 million over the next five years to increase access to safe drinking water for 1.22 million Filipinos and provide sanitation services to 710,000 people, while strengthening water management institutions, increasing access to climate-resilient water supply, improving water resource management, and addressing water financing gaps.
- Promote Health Security and Fight Tuberculosis: USAID will award an additional $8 million, to support global health security in the Philippines and invest in the Philippines’ laboratory capacity, disease surveillance, risk communication, and emergency preparedness. In addition, USAID will partner with the Philippines Department of Health to address the double burden of non-communicable diseases and tuberculosis. USAID will also expand support to the Philippines National Tuberculosis (TB) Reference Lab, introducing the use the Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing (tNGS) technology to provide more rapid and comprehensive identification of Drug Resistance TB (DR-TB) strains in the country, informing appropriate treatment regimens and contributing to drug resistance surveillance.
- Build Disaster Resilience: Building on its decades of support, USAID is providing $5.3 million to implementing partners the UN World Food Program, Catholic Relief Services, and Action Against Hunger to further enhance the capacity of the Philippines from the national to the local levels to prepare for and respond to disasters, while also improving the resilience of at-risk communities. This assistance will include targeted support – such as establishing last mile early warning systems, and supporting household preparedness and local disaster risk reduction management planning – to the most vulnerable coastal communities in Eastern Visayas, Bicol, and Caraga regions that are often the hardest hit by typhoons.
This new funding from USAID underscores the United States’ commitment to the U.S.-Philippines alliance since 1951, and harnesses the momentum of our bilateral efforts to advance further our shared prosperity, security, and friendship among our peoples. This additional support will help drive U.S. investment that is tailored to the needs of local communities across the Philippines, as well as meet the emerging global challenges of the twenty-first century.