Another $250M WB loan in the works for Mindanao transport system
MANILA, Philippines — Another World Bank loan amounting to $250 million has been added to the near-term pipeline for the Philippines to improve transport networks in war-torn Mindanao.
The proposed Mindanao transport connectivity project will cover the bulk of the $380-million project cost.
The World Bank has yet to disclose the approval date.
The newest forthcoming loan increased to 13 the total number of upcoming financing that the World Bank will extend to the Philippines.
These 13 loans in the pipeline amounted to a combined $3.18 billion.
On June 24 (Thursday night, Manila time), the World Bank’s Washington-based board will approve the $400-million first financial sector reform development policy financing to be implemented by the Department of Finance (DOF).
Last June 2, the lender approved a $300-million loan for the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) seismic risk reduction and resilience project, which will fortify government buildings in Metro Manila to prepare for a 7.2 or stronger magnitude quake, or “The Big One.” It will cover bulk of the $309.5 million project cost.
Last week, the World Bank approved $280 million for the second additional financing of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) rural development project.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), based in Beijing, said in a report that the implementation of the DPWH and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Metro Manila flood management project was falling behind schedule.
So far, only $7.2 million out of the Beijing-based lender’s $207.6-million loan was disbursed as of February. In 2017, the World Bank and the AIIB each chipped in $207.6 million for the project, while the remaining $84.7 million of the $500-million total cost was shelled out by the national government.
“Project implementation has been progressing slower than originally agreed timelines. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the project progress, particularly procurement process since March 16, 2020,” the AIIB said.
AIIB said some components of the project, like a pumping station in Tondo district in Manila, has been completed. “The installed system functioned well during Typhoon Ulysses,” AIIB said.
Procurement stage for another pumping station in Tondo has been completed “using the innovative method of design, supply and install tender,” it said.
Contracts for two other pumping stations in Manila are to be awarded in the second quarter of 2021, according to the lender.
“This procurement will be followed shortly for remaining pumping stations,” said AIIB.
“A number of activities related to solid waste management are ongoing, including cleaning of waste from pumping stations and increased efforts to recycle waste, including plastics,” it added.
This project will benefit 1.7 million residents near 56 “potentially critical” drainage systems across 4,900 hectares of flood-prone areas in Metro Manila.
Upon project completion in 2024, these areas should be free of water within 24 hours after a major rainfall.
The project involved rehabilitation of 36 existing pumping stations, as well as construction of 20 new stations.
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