The Philippines and the United States have signed recently two agreements governing a new "debt- for-nature" deal, authorized under the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA), U.S. Embassy in Manila said Friday.
U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. and Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima forged the deal on July 18.
Thomas said the agreements will redirect toward conservation approximately 31.8 million U.S. dollars in debt payments owed by the Philippines to the U.S. Agency for International Development ( USAID) and will establish a Second Tropical Forest Conservation Fund.
The fund will be used to provide grants to conserve, maintain and restore key tropical forests in the Philippines, the envoy said.
The Second Tropical Forest Conservation Fund supports the five- year Partnership for Growth (PFG) initiative signed by the United States and the Philippines in November 2011.
The Philippines is one of only four countries chosen to participate in the PFG program, which aims to mobilize the resources of both governments to address the most serious constraints to economic growth and development in the country, Thomas said.