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Development assistance in the Philippines

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Building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance in the Philippines

Building stronger institutions for transparent and accountable governance in the Philippines


Improving the quality of governance in the Philippines is fundamental to the country's prosperity and stability. In response to the challenge of weak institutions and corruption, Australia is supporting the national government as it fosters a culture of accountability and transparency.

Australia will work with the Philippine Government to implement public financial management reforms in support of practical budget and expenditure management reforms. Targeted investments through human resource development scholarships will support efforts to modernise and strengthen government institutions to enable more effective service delivery. Through our innovative Coalitions for Change Program, Australia will strengthen civil society capacity to engage government in constructive partnerships for policy reform.

Australia will look to strengthen efforts to address land governance issues which have been identified as an important constraint to growth and poverty reduction. Unclear land ownership, as well as collective titles, have reduced the incentive for investment on farms, lowered government revenues and can be a source of conflict.

Related initiatives

Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program - Philippines (AAAEP-P)

$15.5 million, 2017-2021

The AAAEP-P is a four-year program that supports the Philippines to achieve its development goals and have a positive relationship with Australia. The program will build capability in key Philippine Government organisations and key sectors of the Philippines through a variety of short-term training, together with long-term scholarships for post-graduate study in Australia, through the Australia Awards Scholarships. This support helps agencies and private businesses become more efficient and effective by having access to a more skilled workforce. It also helps forge enduring institutional links between Australia and the Philippines.

Public Financial Management Program for Institutions and Infrastructure (PFMP-II)

Estimated $36 million, 2018-202 4 (anticipated program)

This program is currently being designed. Implementation is expected to commence in late 2018. The objective is to support more efficient public infrastructure delivery through improved budgeting and procurement systems. This investment design is being developed in partnership with the Philippine Government.

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Department of Foreign Affairs - Commercial Opportunities

The Asia Foundation Partnership Philippines

$45 million, 2011-2018

The Partnership supports initiatives that strengthen institutions for transparent and accountable governance in the Philippines. Coalitions for Change (CfC) is the centerpiece program. CfC facilitates coalitions or informal networks within civil society, the private sector, academe and government to come together to pursue lasting change that improves lives and promote prosperity. CfC aims to improve policy formulation and implementation through reform activities in target areas including excise tax, land purchase for schools, titling of government lands, airport decongestion, and election integrity in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The partnership also implements activities involving judicial reform and child protection.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Design document Coalitions for Change Program 2011 Design
Independent Progress Review of the Australia-TAF Partnership in the Philippines 2014 Independent evaluation

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Support for Human Rights Activities


Australia is supporting the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines through a range of practical initiatives, including:

  • strengthening of Philippine judicial institutions and a more responsive criminal justice system through a $0.6 million (2017-2018) Asia Foundation program to assist with effective case management in the Philippine judiciary.
  • working with the United Nations to support the promotion of human rights in the Philippines:
    • $0.85 million (2016-21) to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) to support a Manila-based human rights adviser
    • $2.4 million (2017-19) to the World Health Organisation (WHO) that builds on existing work with the Philippine government Department of Health in developing and implementing a rights-based and health-based substance use treatment response
    • $1 million (2017-19) to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to work to ensure an effective, holistic and coordinated response to Philippine Government programs that address drug use, prevention and rehabilitation. This activity includes the engagement of UNODC policy advisor based in Manila.

Australia-World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund

$50 million, 2009-2019

The Australia-World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund, also known as the Umbrella Trust Fund (UTF), is a single donor program trust fund. It brings together co-financed activities of Australia and the World Bank in the Philippines under one funding mechanism. Administered by the World Bank, the UTF finances multiple grants to support analytical research, technical assistance and other investments that contribute to sustained and inclusive growth and improved governance in the Philippines.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Australia World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund Operational Guidelines 2009 Operational guidelines
Midterm Review of the DFAT-World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund 2012 Independent evaluation
Australia - World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund: Evaluation Report 2018 Independent evaluation

Related links

Last Updated: 11 January 2019
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