The AECID Bilateral Cooperation Program in the Philippines
The Country Partnership Framework (MAP) with the Philippines includes the priorities of the Spanish Cooperation in the country for the period 2014-2017, formulated according to the IV Master Plan of Spanish Cooperation. The following are the interventions under implementation for each of the Strategic Guidelines and their Lines of Action.
STRATEGIC ORIENTATION 1: CONSOLIDATING DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES AND THE RULE OF LAW
The Spanish Cooperation supports the Philippines in the area of democratic governance, based human rights approach and a twofold approach: improving democratic institutions and civil society. Within this Strategic Orientation we work on two Lines of Action:
Line of Action “Strengthening the structure and management systems of the public sector”
The AECID has supported the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) from 2011 to 2016 in the Project Institutional Strengthening and Economic Empowerment with a Gender Perspective: Implementation of the Magna Carta on Women, which aimed to mainstream gender in National policies, public institutions and Local Government Units.
Line of Action “Working for the Rule of Law and the guarantee of Human Rights”.
Among the bilateral projects carried out in the area of Human Rights, the project FORTALEZA: Institutional Strengthening of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Philippines. Executed from 2011 to 2016, this project contributed to improving the capabilities of the CHR in its mandate as a supervisor and guarantor of human rights and for the training of local population institutions in this area.
Based on the experience of the Spanish Cooperation in supporting the strengthening of human rights in the Philippines, the European Union granted AECID, through the Delegated Cooperation mechanism, the implementation of the fourth component of its Program GOJUST. Strengthening of the Justice sector in the Philippines, a component aimed at strengthening human rights. This fourth component was set up as the Project GOJUST Human Rights, which AECID implements with an EU contribution of 5 million euros and another AECID contribution of 2 million. The project consists of a national component, carried out with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and a regional component, under the responsibility of the Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
On the other hand, Spanish Cooperation actively participates in the KaSaMa Initiative, a forum promoted by international donors for the dialogue on human rights in the Philippines and for support to national civil society organizations for the implementation of innovative human rights projects. The AECID assumes and finances the Technical Secretariat of KaSaMa from December 2014.
The other area of cooperation in this Line of Action is the Support to the Peace Process. In support of the country’s peace initiatives, AECID launched in 2011 a multi-year project with the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process (OPAPP), entitled Peacebuilding and development in Local Government Units in the Philippines, finalized in June 2016. The project supported the Philippine government’s PAMANA initiative: Resilient Communities in Conflict Affected Areas. In a second phase of this long intervention in support of the OPAPP strategy, a new project is being implemented: Inclusive Development for All. Consolidating the benefits of peace in communities affected by the armed conflicts of the Philippines.
Spain has joined in 2017 the Mindanao Trust Fund, a financial mechanism of the international donors with OPAPP, under the leadership of the World Bank, for the implementation of development projects in communities under the existing peace agreement between the Islamic Moro Islamic Liberation Front(MILF) and the Government of the Philippines.
Other interventions have been initiated, to strengthen indigenous women’s organizations, to create an alliance of municipalities for peace and governance on the island of Basilan, Mindanao, and another for transitional justice in the Bangsamoro region.
STRATEGIC ORIENTATION 2: REDUCING INEQUALITIES AND VULNERABILITY TO EXTREME POVERTY AND CRISIS
Continuing the AECID prevention and disaster preparedness projects in the last ten years in several provinces of the Philippines, AECID has adopted as a priority in the MAP the Action Line Vulnerability Prevention:
Line of Action 1: Prevention policies as the best tool in the fight against vulnerability.
The DILG-Local Government Academy is implementing a Project for Capacity Building on Disaster Risk Reduction, focusing on coastal and depleted areas. The project focuses on three priority provinces for the Philippine Disaster Prevention System.
With the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Project “Capacity Building for 1000” in community development and disaster risk reduction is being implemented.
In addition, AECID’s Office of Humanitarian Action has supported the Philippine Department of Health (DoH) with technical assistance and training for its staff to strengthen disaster preparedness and emergency response capacities, carried out at through FIIAPP.
The Institute for Technological and Renewable Energies of the Canary Islands has developed a project aimed at strengthening the volcanic early warning system in the Philippines through innovative geochemical methodologies, implemented with the National Institute of Geological Sciences of the University of the Philippines.
Spain has offered the Philippines the concessional loan mechanism through the Development Promotion Fund (FONPRODE), with the aim of providing the Philippine Disaster Prevention System with the necessary investment facilities and equipment for the prevention, risk reduction and preparedness for natural disasters.
STRATEGIC ORIENTATION 7: RESPONDING TO HUMANITARIAN CRISES WITH QUALITY.
As the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world in the face of natural disasters, it has been one of the main recipients of Spanish emergency aid since the beginning of AECID’s presence in the country. For this reason, Humanitarian Action is considered in the MAP 2014-2017 as a Strategic Orientation of our intervention.
OTHER INTERVENTIONS IN STRATEGIC SECTORS:
From 2008 to 2014, the AECID developed a budget support operation with a sectoral approach (SWAp) to the Philippine Department of Health (DoH), aimed at improving health infrastructure in rural areas of Bicol, Caraga and certain areas ff Mindanao. The four phases of budget support totaled EUR 11.5 million. In addition, as mentioned above, between 2015 and 2016, this Department received technical assistance from the AECID Office of Humanitarian Action for the strengthening of emergency response mechanisms in the health sector.
AECID supports the Department of Education (DepEd) of the Philippines with the project Expanding the educational offer of the Filipino population through support to the Department of Education for the reintroduction of Spanish into secondary education, in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2012 between the DepEd and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes.
Since 2008 we have been working on the Project Escuela Taller (School Workshop), which provides technical training for young people with limited economic resources and at risk of social exclusion in professions related to the rehabilitation and preservation of the Philippine cultural heritage (see https://etintramuros.wordpress.com/).