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Thursday, February 22, 2024

ADB approves $200-million loan to support Philippines’ infrastructure projects

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB)approved a $200 million loan to further support the Philippines in delivering high-quality, inclusive, climate-resilient and low-carbon public infrastructure.

It said the additional funding would help the country’s ongoing efforts to boost economic growth and improve Filipinos’ access to jobs, markets and essential services like education and healthcare.

The loan, which represents the second phase of the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovative Facility (IPIF), will specifically support the preparation of complex and critical projects in the areas of road, bridge, transport and flood risk management.

The government identified these projects as flagship initiatives for sustainable development.

The ADB said that by allocating funds for feasibility studies and detailed engineering design, the loan will help accelerate the implementation of these projects.

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Climate-resilient features will be embedded into the design, supporting the Philippines’ commitment to addressing climate change and achieving its national adaptation priorities, it said.

“The Philippines has significantly increased its public infrastructure spending in recent years to encourage sustainable, high-growth economic development,” said ADB senior transport specialist Daisuke Mizusawa.

“This additional financing will enable the government to scale up its investments, enhance the quality of public infrastructure projects, and strengthen its public investment management systems,” Mizusawa said.

The ADB will also assist in building the capacity of implementing agencies such as the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works and Highways to effectively manage large and complex infrastructure projects. It also provided a $1.5-million technical assistance grant to support the strengthening of regulations and policies and enhance investment planning for low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure and the development of frameworks and methodologies to consistently identify and mitigate climate risks in infrastructure projects.

Previous ADB support under the IPIF has helped in the preparation of more than $40 billion worth of ongoing and planned infrastructure investments, exceeding initial estimates. These investments were financed by ADB, other development partners and the government.

The ADB said its support for infrastructure development in the Philippines has steadily grown since 2018, and now accounts for almost 60 percent of its total portfolio in the country.

The bank committed financing of $8.4 billion for transport projects including the Malolos Clark Railway Project and the South Commuter Railway Project, which are part of the North–South Commuter Railway system connecting Metro Manila to nearby northern and southern provinces.

These projects, along with other major bridge and public transport projects, are collectively expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 497,866 tons per year. It also supported the preparation of about $1.3 billion worth of projects that aim to reduce flood risks and enable climate change adaptation in major and principal river basins.

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