Overview of Australia's aid program to the Philippines

How we are helping

2013/14 Actual:
$182.6 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate:
$143.0 million

Australia and the Philippines are working together to promote prosperity, increase economic growth, and enhance stability both in the Philippines, and in our broader region.

The Philippine Government's priorities are to improve governance, combat corruption and reduce poverty. Australia's partnership with the Philippines supports these reforms. The 2014 Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting agreed on priorities for cooperation including: partnering for education reforms; enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth; promoting disaster preparedness; improving conditions for peace and security; and building stronger institutions for inclusive development.

Australia provides aid to the Philippines because a more prosperous and stable Philippines is good for regional cooperation, security and trade. While economic growth has been strong at 6-7 percent in 2012 and 2013, this growth has not resulted in a commensurate reduction in poverty, with almost 25 per cent of the population living on less than $1.25 per day. The Philippines is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters which in turn affect poverty and growth rates. Australia’s aid to the Philippines is designed to accelerate inclusive economic growth and enhance stability. Australia’s aid to the Philippines has yielded strong results, become known for its innovation and contributed to a robust bilateral relationship.

Australia's aid program in the Philippines works toward the over-arching objective of promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, and enhancing political stability. It is closely aligned with the priorities of the Philippine Government, and focuses on:

  • partnering on education reforms
  • enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth
  • promoting better disaster preparedness and response
  • improving conditions for peace and security
  • building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance.

Partnering on education reforms

Australia is working with the Philippine Government and with business organisations to implement reforms and provide additional classrooms for overcrowded schools. The new Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) program will improve the quality of education through better trained teachers and improved school curriculum. In Muslim Mindanao, the region with the country’s poorest education outcomes, Australia provides a comprehensive education assistance program that aims to reduce the gap in school participation and learning achievement in highly disadvantaged communities.

Partnering on education reforms in the Philippines

Enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth

Inadequate infrastructure investment in the Philippines is a constraint to growth. Australia is supporting the Philippine Government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) reform agenda to enhance the foundations for sustained economic development. Its objective is to deliver better services to Filipinos and increase private sector participation and investment in key areas of infrastructure including roads, railways, utilities and classrooms.

Enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth in the Philippines

Promoting better disaster preparedness and response

Disasters drive families into poverty and cut national growth rates. To mitigate the damage caused by natural disasters, Australia will help to build resilience by promoting disaster preparedness, improving the country’s technical knowledge on hazards and disasters, and helping communities to improve their capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters.

Promoting better disaster preparedness and response in the Philippines

Improving conditions for peace and security

Decades of violent conflict have left large parts of Mindanao trapped in vicious cycles of poor governance and under development, and have threatened regional stability. The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front holds much potential for progress. Australia will contribute to the peace process in Mindanao by building more capable and responsive state institutions and expanding economic opportunities for conflict-affected communities.

Improving conditions for peace and security in the Philippines

Building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance

Investing in effective governance will help support economic growth. Weak governance and a lack of budget transparency and accountability persist at the national and local levels and have a direct impact on the provision of basic services. Australia will strengthen the governance of public institutions in the Philippines by:

  • helping the Philippine Government to embed public finance reforms, and modernise its public financial management systems
  • helping to improve opportunities for women and girls to benefit equally from economic growth.

Building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance

Our results

Some key results from the Australian aid program in the Philippines in 2013-14 include:

  • Australia’s immediate and effective response to super-typhoon Haiyan in November 2013
    • Australia contributed $41 million to provide immediate and life-saving needs of over 3 million people
    • At least 3,281 patients were treated and 238 surgeries were performed by the Australian Medical Assistance Team
    • The Royal Australian Air Force provided much needed air transport - transporting over 1,800 metric tonnes of relief goods, 200 officials and humanitarian workers, and 3,300 survivors
    • The Australian Defence Force also helped repair 16 schools allowing 15,000 children to go back to school.
  • Building 921 classrooms and establishing 1,463 alternative community learning centres in Muslim Mindanao.
  • Supporting the Philippines Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program to achieve the signing of seven infrastructure projects worth at least USD360 million.
  • Assisting the Philippine Government implement the treasury single account resulting in savings of $10 million through the rationalisation of dormant bank accounts.
  • Providing technical assistance to the Philippine Government Negotiating Panel and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission during the peace negotiations (between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front), and funding multi-sectoral consultations that contributed to wider support and credibility of the peace negotiations.

 



People studying a map
Government units, NGOs, academics and indigenous communities participate in a mapping workshop to identify threats to the forest and environment ecosystem (credit: DFAT).
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launches an education programme in the Philippines (credit: DFAT).
A wooden bridge
Engineers work on the construction of a hanging footbridge as part of an ASEAN disaster response exercise in Sapang Bato, Philippines (credit: DFAT).