As the Philippines approaches upper-middle-income status, it continues to face the challenge of fighting poverty and economic and gender inequalities, while also confronting COVID-19. Public debt is set to dramatically increase, and donors are likely to ramp up funding to help foster recovery from the pandemic. Transparency and accountability are essential to guarantee efficient and judicious use of funds. The Philippines might have to consider a “debt brake” if government borrowing exceeds manageable levels, and donors should emphasize grants over loans. Aid should focus on building self-reliance based on localization, untying assistance and support for progressive revenue-raising.
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