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Monday, July 15, 2024

Gov’t asks ADB to hike support for infra projects

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The Philippine government asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to increase its support for physical and digital infrastructure and capacity building for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The Philippines, during the recently-concluded ADB annual meeting, outlined its key areas of focus for collaboration with the Manila-based lender, which focuses on digitalization, infrastructure development, human capital enhancement and MSMEs.

These key areas are to be endorsed by the ADB board and integrated into its 2024-2029 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the Philippines.

Data showed that as of Dec. 31, 2023, the ADB was the Philippines’ second-largest official development assistance (ODA) partner with total ODA commitments of $11.40 billion.

The Marcos administration has secured $4.48 billion in ODA loan financing from the ADB for priority programs and projects for business and employment, agriculture, inclusive finance, domestic resource mobilization and infrastructure development.

Some of the bank’s big-ticket projects in the Philippines are the Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP), the South Commuter Railway Project (SCRP) and the Climate Change Action Program (CCAP), which is the first dedicated climate change policy-based loan undertaken by the ADB.

The loans are complemented by strong grant and technical assistance programs for the conduct of studies, project preparation, project implementation and capacity-building activities.

The Department of Finance also called for increased support to fund the long-term sustainable development objectives of the bank’s developing member countries (DMCs).

“We hope that the ADB will make further headway on improving and enhancing its organization and structure, operational approaches, and financial capacities to maximize the Bank’s potential in providing more grants and additional concessional financing resources to support developing countries in addressing the gaps and complex challenges in the global development landscape,” the DOF said in the statement.

The DOF also expressed support for the approval of the ADB’s enhanced Capital Adequacy Framework (CAF) to provide the bank with an additional $100 billion in additional lending capacity for the next ten years.

The DOF said, however, this increase in resources should be utilized by the bank to maximize support for addressing current crises and future challenges.

The DOF said it looks forward to the implementation of the $10-billion climate finance programmed by the ADB for the Philippines over the next five years, while encouraging the bank to scale up the same support to other developing countries.

Meanwhile, the Philippines pledged anew to the Asian Development Fund (ADF) to assist the world’s least developed nations during the ADF 14 Replenishment Meeting on May 2, 2024.

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