ADB SUPPORTS PHILIPPINE INFRA & SOCIAL SERVICES

The Asian Development Bank has again opened its coffers to the Philippines in furtherance of the country's ambitious infrastructure goals. ADB has announced that the Philippines can get as much as US$3.8 billion in loans and more from its non-lending financing arm in Manila.

The Asian Development Bank announced that it has opened loans and non-lending programs for the country. This is to boost the Philippines plan to accelerate public spending on infrastructure and social services. Apart from the US$3.8 billion in loans, the Philippines can tap another $21.8 million in non-lending financing from its Manila bank. This was disclosed by the International Finance Group to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. This funding falls under the ADB's Country Operations Business Plan or COBP which will focus on priority areas of the Duterte Administration.

47.4% of the total funding support of $1.8 bill will be earmarked for infrastructure. $1.5 billion or 39.5% will go to education and skills development, access to finance, expanded social services and employment opportunities for the youth. The balance of $500 million is for programs on good governance and finance.

The timeline for this is from 2018 to 2020. There are some infrastructure projects that ADB is considering to co-finance with the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA. These include the proposed PNR Malolos-Clark Railway and the PNR capacity and readiness in handling as well as financing infrastructure projects especially the construction of our railways.

The Philippines has requested for quarterly meetings with ADB to make sure that ADB's country partnership strategy is aligned with the current administration's strategies. ADB has agreed to this request.

Meanwhile, additional projects that ADB's Country Operations Business Plans may cover are the Central Spine Roll-on/Roll-off or RoRo project and the Mindanao River Basin Flood Control Project. ADB has also pledged to design a $300 million critical infrastructure initiatives package. This is in conjunction with other financing institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Agency Francaise de Development.

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