The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is preparing to update its country strategy for the Philippines and is looking to provide $3.5 billion in loans annually to support the country's development.
Photo Insert: ADB Country Director Kelly Bird noted the ADB's ongoing involvement in mass transport systems in and around Metro Manila, including the $2.74-billion Malolos-Clark railway project, the $123-million EDSA Greenways project, and the $175-million Metro Manila bridges project.
"We are now looking for a new strategy... for 2024 to 2029," ADB Country Director Kelly Bird told an economic forum held recently.
The strategic priorities under the plan include intensifying climate action, investing in climate-smart transportation and communications, and investing in Filipinos. These are aligned with the government's Philippine Development Plan that aims to reduce poverty and income inequality, sustain high economic growth, and add more, better and "green" jobs.
The $3.5 billion in annual lending will be used for climate adaptation, biodiversity protection and continued investments in mass public transportation, education skills and employment, social protection, and healthcare.
Bird noted the ADB's ongoing involvement in mass transport systems in and around Metro Manila, including the $2.74-billion Malolos-Clark railway project, the $123-million EDSA Greenways project, and the $175-million Metro Manila bridges project.
In Mindanao, these are the ongoing $100-million rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi and a growth corridor road sector project worth $380 million. Bird said the ADB could approve the $1.5-billion Bataan-Cavite bridge project, which would be the second-longest bridge in the word, and the $924-million Davao bus project later this year.
Lined up for next year, meanwhile, are the $1.2-billion Laguna Lakeshore Rail and the Metro Rail Transit-4 projects.
The 2018-2023 country strategy approved in 2018 focused on three priority areas: accelerating infrastructure and long-term investments, promoting local economic development in Mindanao and Visayas, and investing in people.
The ADB then said it expected to lend an estimated $7.8 billion, or nearly $2 billion annually, from 2018 to 2021. Projects covered by the strategy included the Malolos-Clark railway, North-South Commuter Rail, Metro Manila bridges, the Bataan-Cavite long-span bridge, and the EDSA Greenways.
The ADB also said it would support capital market development, private sector participation and innovations such as green finance solutions to create more options for long-term infrastructure finance.