ADB prepares new PH country strategy
The Asian Development Bank is preparing to update its country strategy for the Philippines and expects to provide $3.5 billion in loans annually to support the country’s development.
“Now we are looking for a new strategy … for the period from 2024 to 2029,” ADB Country Manager Kelly Bird said at an economic forum hosted by The Manila Times on Tuesday.
Strategic priorities under the plan include stepping up climate action, investing in climate-smart transport and communications, and investing in Filipinos.
They are in line with the Philippine government’s development plan, which aims to reduce poverty and income inequality, maintain strong economic growth and create new, better and greener jobs.
The $3.5 billion annual loan will be used for climate change adaptation, biodiversity protection, and continued investment in public transportation, skills and employment training, social protection, and healthcare.
Bird noted ADB’s continued involvement in public transit systems in and around Metro Manila, including the $2.74 billion Malolos-Clark rail project, the $123 million EDSA Greenways project, and the $175 million Metro Manila bridge project.
In Mindanao, these are the $100 million ongoing rehabilitation of war-ravaged Marawi and the $380 million growth corridor road sector project.
ADB may approve the $1.5 billion Bataan-Kavite Bridge project, which will be the world’s second longest bridge, and the $924 million Davao bus project later this year, Bird said.
Meanwhile, the $1.2 billion Laguna Lakeshore Rail and Metro Rail Transit-4 projects are scheduled for next year.
The 2018-2023 Country Strategy, approved in 2018, focuses on three priority areas: accelerating infrastructure development and long-term investment, promoting local economic development in Mindanao and the Visayas, and investing in people.
ADB then said it expects to lend about $7.8 billion, or almost $2 billion annually, from 2018 to 2021.
Projects covered by the strategy included the Malolos-Clark Railway, the North-South Commuter Railway, the Metro Manila Bridges, the Bataan-Kavite Long-Span Bridge and the EDSA Greenways.
ADB also said it will support capital market development, private sector participation, and innovation such as green finance solutions to create more opportunities for long-term infrastructure financing.