THe FINANCIAL -- MANILA, PHILIPPINES (1 August 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) congratulates the Government of the Philippines on the recent signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which grants autonomy to a wider area of the country’s second-largest island region.
ADB has been a major partner of the Philippine government in promoting growth, development, and peace in Mindanao, starting with key infrastructure projects in rural areas in the late 1960s to early 1970s to increase farm productivity and income.
“The passage of the landmark law is a significant step toward achieving lasting peace, which will allow Mindanao to reach its full potential as a key driver of growth and development for the Philippines,” said ADB Vice-President Mr. Stephen Groff.
ADB recently stepped up its assistance to Mindanao. In December 2017, ADB approved a $380 million loan to improve 280 kilometers of national road and bridge networks in the region. The project was the first Mindanao-specific loan granted by ADB in 16 years, boosting ADB’s existing support in the region for rural and community-driven development, social protection, and road network improvement.
ADB is currently finalizing its 2019–2021 Country Operations Business Plan and 2018–2023 Country Partnership Strategy, both of which will include greater support for Mindanao’s development, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, capacity building specifically for local governments, education and skills training, youth employment, and disaster risk management.
“The government’s efforts to create stability in Mindanao will usher in more opportunities to end poverty in the region. ADB stands ready to assist the government in addressing socioeconomic inequalities in Mindanao and is preparing to roll out initiatives targeting this purpose,” said ADB Country Director for the Philippines Mr. Kelly Bird.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. 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.