ADB loans to the Philippines to reach US$9.4 billion
MANILA – The sovereign lending extended by the Asian Development Bank will reach US$9.3 billion between 2021 and 2023 with two-thirds spent on infrastructure, health, and employment recovery to help the government revitalize the economy within the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Philippines’ Country Operations Business Plan 2021-2023 will support government programs and policies designed to repair damage to the business sector and labor market, hasten 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. We are focusing on infrastructure projects that have large employment multipliers and support long-term economic growth through improved connectivity,” said ADB Vice-President Ahmed M. Saeed.
It has been reported more than 52% of the sovereign lending will support transportation projects, such as railways, roads, and bridges. About 12% of ADB’s financing will help the government expand the public health system through the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.
According to the ADB statement, the rest of ADB’s lending will support environmentally, sustainable urban development projects in Palawan province, which is located in the southwest, expand social protection and boost agriculture competitiveness, public sector management and capital market development.
Commuter Railway (NSCR) system - the biggest infrastructure project under the government’s “Build, Build, Build.” The 53-kilometer South Commuter Railway will connect Metro Manila with areas south of the capital including Calamba in Laguna province.
The ADB has also provided financing for the Malolos-Clark Railway Project, the northern segment of the NSCR system. Five civil work contracts amounting to US$2.5 billion were awarded this year.
Included in the package are the Metro Manila Bridges Project, the construction of three bridges to help ease traffic congestion in the capital. The Davao Public Transport Modernization Project will also be funded by ADB.
Next year, the ADB is expected to provide a health sector loan amounting to US$500 million for comprehensive and affordable health care services for Filipinos under a Universal Health Care coverage program. (Melo M. Acuña)