Goldberg: We will continue support for Mindanao
Appearing with Vice President Leni Robredo at a forum on strengthening health programs in Muslim areas in Mindanao, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg said that from 2012 to 2016, “USAID (United States Agency for International Development) has contributed more than P3 billion in Mindanao and ARMM, with P500 million specifically allocated for health activities.”
Goldberg, who has been the target of personal attacks by President Duterte, said the US government had long supported economic growth in Mindanao and “would continue to do so, in partnership with the Philippine government.”
“Currently, we have a comprehensive program that supports efforts to improve peace and stability in focused areas in Central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago,” he said.
At a colloquium organized by the Zuellig Family Foundation in cooperation with USAID at the Heritage Hotel, Robredo stressed the importance of good governance in helping the people of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) rise above their station, noting that the region was among the most impoverished in the country as a result of strife and lack of development.
Robredo and Goldberg made no mention of Mr. Duterte’s threat to break the long-standing security alliance with the US, including ending US military and technical assistance in Mindanao.
Robredo and Goldberg congratulated Zuellig on the culmination of its “health change model” in the ARMM that sought to transform how local leaders respond to the health needs of their constituents.
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