US govt shutdown to have 'minimal impact' on PH
MANILA, Philippines - The partial shutdown of the US federal government may affect grants the Philippines is getting from the United States Agency for International Developnment, a Department of Finance official said.
Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said USAID funding for several projects in the country may be affected by the partial shutdown.
“US shutdown effects on the Philippines will depend on how long it’s going to be,” Beltran said.
The US is the Philippines' biggest grant donor, with nearly $9.5 billion in foreign assistance since 1946. Of the amount, around $4.4 billion was from USAID and its predecessor's programs' assistance.
Bureau of Treasury data showed the Philippines has an ongoing $500 million portfolio with USAID, including $109 million in new allocations this year.
For his part, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the US government shutdown will only have a "minimal impact" on the Philippine economy. But he noted there will be greater volatility in the markets.
On Tuesday, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima expressed confidence the Philippine can withstand any uncertainty.
“Fortunately for the Philippines, we enjoy a strong fiscal position, and a structural current account surplus economy whose growth is led by consumption and a young, educated population. This will allow the Philippines to ride out this situation better than other emerging markets - whose economic models are exports and extractives-based,” Purisima said.