THE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FRAMEWORK
According to Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2013-2016, the Philippines is the only priority country in Asia. The first mutual Cooperation Agreement dates back to 1974, and in 1992 this relationship was strengthened with the opening of the Technical Cooperation Office of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in Manila. For the past 25 years, the Spanish Cooperation has consistently conducted programs and projects which have made the Philippines one of the major beneficiaries of Spanish development aid worldwide. In the last fifteen years the total amount of Spanish Official Development Aid (ODA) to the Philippines has reached 278 million euros. Memoir of 25 years of the Spanish Cooperation in the Philippines.
In Bilateral cooperation, significant activities have been carried out by AECID with the Philippine government institutions on areas such as governance, support to the peace process, education and health. Additionally, various comprehensive programs have been implemented under Disaster Risk Reduction. In the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Albay, programs for Disaster Preparedness and Response were implemented, thus strengthening the capabilities of local authorities. Moreover, Projects such as Escuela Taller and various activities for scientific and academic cooperation make the Spanish Aid in the Philippines one of the most comprehensive in terms of aid modalities and financing instruments.
Apart from AECID as the main actor of Spanish bilateral aid, there are other key players tasked to carry out this strategy. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) stand out among the most important entities implementing field cooperation. There are currently 15 Spanish NGOs working in the Philippines in close partnership with Philippine Civil Society Organizations, 11 of which have permanent representation in the country.
Significant Spanish ODA resources have also been invested through the United Nations agencies. Spain has been one of the main funders to the UN System’s multilateral programs in the Philippines, with a contribution of approximately 24 million Euros. Amongst them, the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) stands out the most. The new Sustainable Development Goals Fund (MDGF) started with an intervention in water and sanitation for $ 3 Million. There are also ongoing projects with UN Habitat and UN Women.
The Country Partnership Framework (CPF) is the current strategy of the Spanish Cooperation with the Philippines 2014-2017. It foresees the work in three different pillars:
Additionally, it is important to highlight the actions conducted in humanitarian and emergency aid.
The CPF is aligned with the local policies and supports the current Philippine Administration’s development strategy, the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016, whose main objective is to achieve development through poverty reduction and employment growth.
In line with the requirements of the Paris Declaration and the EU Code of Conduct, the Spanish Cooperation has focused on two priority areas in the Philippines:
Its main objective is to consolidate democratic processes and the rule of law. With two Action Plans: Strengthening structure and systems of public sector management; and Working toward the rule of law and guarantee of human rights.
Main objective: To reduce inequality and vulnerability to extreme poverty and crises. With two Action Plans: Prevention and preparation policies; and Social protection programs.
On the other hand, a third priority has been added, in conformity with the country’s unique circumstances of vulnerability:
A responsible and gradual exit strategy is expected in sectors where the Spanish Cooperation has been working in the past and has comparative advantage: Health, Education, Water and Sanitation, Employment and Economic Growth.
The following are considered Cross Cutting Issues:
The CPF has identified areas of geographic concentration of the Spanish Aid:
Aside from grants for bilateral o multilateral cooperation projects, AECID has offered to the Philippine Government a facility consisting in loans for big infrastructure programs (FONPRODE). Furthermore, a program of delegated cooperation with the European Union is expected to commence.