The FINANCIAL -- MANILA, PHILIPPINES (4 July 2018) — The Philippines’ National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Finance (DOF), together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering an indicative $7.1 billion sovereign lending program to the Philippines from 2019–2021.
At the MoU signing ceremony on 29 June witnessed by NEDA Secretary Mr. Ernesto Pernia, ADB reaffirmed its strong commitment to support the government in raising the country’s growth trajectory and reducing poverty and income inequalities. Also present at the ceremony were officials from implementing agencies, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, and Department of Interior and Local Government, according to ADB.
“I am very happy about this program,” said Mr. Pernia. “ADB has been very cooperative and helpful in our objectives to sustain our economic growth and achieve inclusive development. This will help bring us closer to our longer-term vision of a prosperous, middle-income country where no one is poor by 2040.”
According to ADB, the government’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program will be supported by the proposed lending program, with two-thirds of the ADB pipeline, or about $4.5 billion, allocated for projects that connect regions and communities and manage urbanization, such as railways, bridges, roads, and flood management.
The remaining one-third of the pipeline will focus on policy support and social assistance in the areas of inclusive finance, capital market development, local government development, and youth employment. The agreement covers an indicative three-year rolling program that is revisited annually.
“ADB has been a very responsive partner,” said DOF Assistant Secretary Ms. Maria Edita Tan. “When we asked them to consider cofinancing some of the large infrastructure projects under the BBB program, ADB immediately stepped up to the challenge.”
ADB’s Country Operations Business Plan 2019–2021 will focus on the strategic priorities of accelerating infrastructure and long-term investments, promoting local economic development, and investing in people to support the government’s objective of lowering poverty to 14% of the population by 2022, from the current 21.6%.
“ADB is committed to working closely and collaboratively with the Government of the Philippines to ensure that we deliver on our pipeline of projects,” said ADB Country Director for the Philippines Mr. Kelly Bird after the signing ceremony.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.