Philippines’ loan to ADB to reach $9.4 billion by 2023

Ahmed Saeed.

The Philippine government’s loan to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was expected to reach $9.4 billion over the next four years with funds sought to finance the country’s operations business plan.

In an e-mailed statement on Wednesday, ADB said that at least two-thirds of the borrowings would go into infrastructure, health, and employment recovery to help the government revitalize the economy that was heavily dampened by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Philippines’ Country Operations Business Plan for 2021-2023 was expected to support government programs and policies designed to repair damage to the business sector and labor market, accelerate economic recovery, and expand access to public health services.

“We have designed our new Country Operations Business Plan to help the Philippines overcome the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic,” ADB Vice President Ahmed Saeed said.

“We are focusing on infrastructure projects that have large employment multipliers and support long-term economic growth through improved connectivity,” he added.

According to the lender, more than 52% of the sovereign lending will be poured into transportation projects such as railways, roads, and bridges, while 12% will go to expand the public healthcare system through the implementation of the Universal Health Care.

The rest of ADB’s loans will support environmentally sustainable urban development projects in the province of Palawan, expand social protection, and boost agriculture competitiveness, public sector management, and capital market development.

By next year, nearly half of ADB’s lending program, or about $1.75 billion will fund the first tranche of the South Commuter Railway Project, a portion of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) system.

The NSCR is a project of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency that will run from Clark to Calamba in Laguna. It is one of the biggest infrastructure projects under the Philippine government’s Build, Build, Build program.

Once complete, the 53-kilometer South Commuter Railway will connect Metro Manila with areas south of the capital, such as Calamba in Laguna province.

Photo from Flickr