The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lent some $2.5 billion support to the Philippines, the highest ever extended in a single year.
On Friday, the ADB and the Philippine government through the Department of Finance have signed a loan agreement worth $623 million that brought the multilateral lender’s total support to the Philippines to $2.5 billion.
The support would be used to fund the creation of more jobs to reduce youth employment, better enforce the country’s antitrust law, and help the government prepare for the Build, Build, Build program.
In particular, about $400 million would be used for Facilitating Youth School-to-Work Transition Program Subprogram 2, while the remaining $23.3 million and $200 million would be used for Capacity Building for Foster Competition Project, and additional financing for the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF), respectively.
As for the IPIF, the ADB said the fresh loan will be used to support the preparation of several transformative projects, including the 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.”
“It will also provide project implementation and preparation support for staff at the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works and Highways so they can effectively and efficiently manage complex infrastructure projects,” the ADB added.
Ahmed Saeed, ADB vice president for operations, told the Philippine media that the total loan financing reflects the government’s “clarity of vision and our strong commitment to supporting your efforts.”
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd noted that during the past decade, the ADB has so far lent some $7.2 billion to the Philippines.
“The proposed substantial increase in ADB’s loan assistance underscores the bank’s strong support in translating the Duterte administration’s development objectives into concrete investments, particularly related to the country’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, human capital development, disaster preparedness, tourism, health care and agriculture. In short, the whole range of our development concerns,” Dominguez said.
“When the administration came in, we had a slim pipeline of [infrastructure] projects. To develop our pipeline, we needed to finance project studies. The second round of financing will be used for feasibility studies. There is still a long list of feasibility studies we have to make. This will develop a very good pipeline for future administrations,” he added.
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