ADB Unveils 3-Year Philippine Operations Plan with Infrastructure Focus

 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved the 2018-2020 Country Operations Business Plan for the Philippines to help the government build infrastructure, create jobs, reduce income and regional disparities, and strengthen disaster resilience.

The plan, which reflects priorities outlined in the government’s 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan, includes $3.68 billion in ADB lending and $25.1 million in technical assistance from 2018-2020.

In 2018 alone, ADB lending to the Philippines will reach $920 million, and the number is expected to rise to a record high of about $1.4 billion each for both 2019 and 2020.

“We are committed to supporting the government’s effort to realize its goals of sustainable and inclusive growth, delivering much-needed infrastructure, strengthening education, helping youth to access good jobs, and boosting regional development,” said Richard Bolt, ADB Country Director for the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure development program aims to raise spending on infrastructure to 7.4% of gross domestic product by 2022, up from 5.3% in 2017 to sustain the country’s current strong growth momentum.

Nearly half, or $1.7 billion, of ADB’s lending pipeline in the next 3 years will finance projects in the transport, water, and urban infrastructure sectors, such as the Malolos-Clark Railway Project and the Metro Manila Water Supply Project in 2019. Part of the amount will also fund capacity building of government agencies and local government units to deliver large and sophisticated roads and railway projects, and local services.

The rest of the lending pipeline includes programs and projects in the social sectors, finance sector including inclusive finance, disaster risk management, and public sector management.

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, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

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