Aid matters

Does the Philippines need aid?

Aid for countries like ours that are actually awash with resources could still prompt structural reforms that otherwise would have been technically or politically difficult to push by reformists in aid recipient countries. 

Our study on political dynasties, for example, which few would touch with a 10-foot-pole in the Philippines (let alone fund), was supported through the help of German taxpayers. Hopefully, it will trigger the kind of soul-searching and reforms that will help strengthen our democratic institutions, from which future generations in our country will benefit from. 

Finally, I think the recent decision to defer the Philippines' access to the MCC funds is disappointing on two levels. First, the funds were directed heavily to help boost the development of Mindanao and promote structural reforms that would promote more inclusive development nationwide. These are areas that we could certainly use more help in strengthening, largely because of our difficult politics and governance.

Second, this sends a signal of our regression to the international community, throwing into question the strength of our rule of law once again. We are a country that values human rights. And I believe our security forces, our government, and our nation are capable of succeeding in the campaign against drugs, while also respecting the rights of all our citizens. The welfare and rights of our citizens and our youth are, after all, the main reason why this is worth embarking on in the first place. –


*The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ateneo de Manila University. Ronald U Mendoza is the Dean of the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG).