ADB financing to PH projects hits record high $2.5B in 2019
The Philippines and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday signed three loan agreements worth $623 million to reduce youth unemployment, better enforce the country’s anti-trust law, and help the government prepare shovel-ready infrastructure projects under its ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program.
ADB vice president for operations Ahmed M. Saeed told reporters that the total loan financing extended by the Manila-based multilateral lender to the Philippines in 2019 amounted to $2.5 billion, the biggest ever in a single year.
“This reflects the government’s clarity of vision and our strong commitment to supporting your efforts,” Saeed said.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, who signed the loan agreements on behalf of the Philippines, noted that in the past 10 years, the ADB extended to the country $7.2 billion in loans.
In the next two years, the Philippines will avail itself of $7.8 billion in financing, bringing to $10.3 billion the loan portfolio from the ADB over the medium term.
The increase, which Dominguez said was substantial, “underscores the bank’s strong support in translating the Duterte administration’s development objectives into concrete investments.”
He said this was particularly key to the Build, Build, Build program, human development, disaster preparedness, tourism, health care and agriculture.
“In short the whole range of our development concerns,” he said.
The three loan agreements approved by the ADB board this month included the $400-million Facilitating Youth School-to-Work Transition Program Subprogram 2; $23.3-million Capacity Building to Foster Competition Project; and $200-million additional financing for the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF).
In a statement, the ADB said the fresh loan for the ongoing IPIF “will support the preparation of several transformative projects.”
These included detailed engineering design of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project and the Metro Rail Transit Line 4 connecting Ortigas in Metro Manila to Taytay in eastern Rizal province.
Edited by TSB
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