Manila, July 11 (Engineering Daily) -- The Philippine government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed an agreement covering an indicative USD7.1 billion sovereign lending program that will mainly support the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program over the next three years.
The Manila-based multilateral lender on Wednesday said it signed with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) a memorandum of understanding on the program, which will run from 2019 to 2021, last June 29.
“The government’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program will be supported by the proposed lending program, with two-thirds of the ADB pipeline, or about USD4.5 billion, allocated for projects that connect regions and communities and manage urbanization, such as railways, bridges, roads, and flood management,” ADB said in a statement.
DOF Assistant Secretary Maria Edita Tan said ADB has been a “very responsive partner”, noting “when we asked them to consider co-financing some of the large infrastructure projects under the BBB program, ADB immediately stepped up to the challenge.”
The remaining one-third of the pipeline will focus on policy support and social assistance in the areas of inclusive finance, capital market development, local government development, and youth employment.
The agreement covers an indicative three-year rolling program that will be revisited annually.
ADB’s Country Operations Business Plan 2019–2021 will focus on the strategic priorities of accelerating infrastructure and long-term investments, promoting local economic development, and investing in people to support the government’s objective of lowering poverty to 14 percent of the population by 2022, from the current 21.6 percent.
“ADB has been very cooperative and helpful in our objectives to sustain our economic growth and achieve inclusive development. This will help bring us closer to our longer-term vision of a prosperous, middle-income country where no one is poor by 2040,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.
ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird noted that ADB is committed to working closely and collaboratively with the Philippine government to ensure that the multilateral lender delivers on its pipeline of projects.