COVID-19 ECQ delays WB-funded infra projects | Inquirer Business

COVID-19 ECQ delays WB-funded infra projects

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:12 AM June 01, 2020

The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in Luzon and other areas with high COVID-19 cases since mid-March has delayed the implementation of big-ticket infrastructure projects financed by the World Bank, such that the government will seek extension for some loans.

In the case of the Metro Manila flood management project it cofinanced with Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the World Bank reported in May that “modernization of one pumping station, Balut, progressed well until the ECQ.”

The project being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Finance and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) was completing its second year of implementation, it noted.


“All other project activities were suspended [during the ECQ]. The DPWH, MMDA and the World Bank team are working on a restart of project activities as soon as practical after the ECQ,” the lender said.


In 2017, the World Bank and the AIIB approved their respective loans of $207.6 million each, while the remaining $84.7 million for the $500-million project was shelled out by the national government.

This flood control project was aimed for completion in 2024.

In the case of the Cebu bus rapid transit (BRT), the World Bank said in a separate report that the project had shown significant progress.

“However, the enforcement of the ECQ … has slowed down the implementation of critical project activities,” it said.

Amid the delays, the World Bank said given that the current loan closing date is in June 2021, it was expecting the Department of Transportation to initiate the process for loan extension soon.

In 2014, the World Bank approved a $141-million loan for the project to augment the $87.5 million earmarked by the government for the project.


The 23-kilometer Cebu BRT was originally targeted for completion in October this year but project implementation had been delayed. INQ

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TAGS: Business, COVID-19, Infrastructure

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