By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Seoul

SEOUL, 14 September 2017-In an affirmation of the close and enduring development partnership between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea, Ambassador to ROK Raul S. Hernandez represented the Philippines at the 11th ODA International Conference that was held on 13 September 2017 at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul. This annual event, which was co-hosted by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), was attended by Ambassadors representing the development partner countries of ROK and distinguished officials from international development agencies, financial institutions, government ministries, academe and civil society.

This year's Conference featured the theme "The Future of International Development Cooperation: Roles of ODA in the Era of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)." The plenary sessions highlighted the current status of implementation of KOICA's Mid-Term Sectoral Strategy for 2016-2020 and featured in-depth discussions on how to use limited ODA resources effectively in order to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. Triangular cooperation involving the active participation of the development agency, private investor and country recipient, was one of the financing modalities that was discussed that could serve as an important catalyst in increasing the flow of funding for projects related to SDGs.

During the Conference, Ambassador Hernandez met with Mr. CHOI Sungho, Acting President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), to convey the Philippines' appreciation for the Official Development Assistance (ODA) extended by the Korean government to the Philippines which amounted to US$522.38 million in 2016. Among the prominent projects being funded by the Korean government through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) in the Philippines are the Panguil Bay Bridge Project, Jalaur River MultiPurpose Irrigation Project (Phase II) and Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures in Low Lying Areas of Pampanga.

Since its inception, the ODA International Conference has sought to promote greater public awareness of the important role of ODA in bolstering the capacity of developing countries to develop innovative and financially viable projects that would contribute to the achievement of the SDGs for the benefit of their citizenry. The SDGs include agricultural and rural development; science, technology and innovation; climate change response and mitigation; harnessing of energy and water resources for development; transportation, education, health, governance and gender equality.