The Bush administration is slashing aid to the Philippines by 60 percent despite its economic problems and the democratic election of a new president with strong U.S. ties.

In addition, a congressional appropriations subcommittee has further cut next fiscal year's U.S. contribution to a multination assistance plan started by Congress to help President Corazon Aquino restore democracy to the Southeast Asian ally.The administration has reduced aid to the Philippines this year from its originally requested $559 million to just under $220 million in its final allocation, according to the State Department. Aid last fiscal year totaled $568 million.

Appropriation for the multilateral program for fiscal 1993, which begins Oct. 1, is set at $40 million, down from the $200 million originally planned.

The reductions come as former Defense Minister Fidel Ramos is about to be proclaimed winner of the May 11 presidential election. He is expected to succeed Aquino when her six-year term ends June 30.

Ramos, a West Point graduate, is credited with thwarting at least six coup attempts against Aquino. He is a cousin of the late President Ferdinand Marcos but sided with Aquino during a 1986 popular revolt that overthrew Marcos.

Ramos strongly supported U.S. bases in the Philippines as a military commander under Marcos and Aquino.