PH loans for socio-economic programs could reach 9.4 billion dollars in 2021-2023
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 16) – The Asian Development Bank is providing more funding to support Philippine government programs over the next two years to revive the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the AfDB said lending to the country is expected to reach $ 9.4 billion (about 451.7 billion yen) between 2021 and 2023. At least two-thirds of the amount will go to infrastructure initiatives, health and employment recovery in accordance with its country operations business plan.
“We will pay particular attention to the acceleration of infrastructure projects that have high budget impact multipliers. These are the investments that connect local economies, businesses, communities and public services to those in need, ”said Oscar Badiola, Senior Program Officer, AfDB Philippines. an online press conference.
More than 50 percent of the loans will increase transport projects, which include railways, roads and bridges, AfDB noted. For example, $ 1.75 billion or half of its 2021 loan program will fund the initial construction of the Southern Suburban Railroad project. In total, the project will receive $ 4.3 billion from the regional lender.
The 55-kilometer train line is a segment of the larger north-south suburban railway, which will connect New Clark City to Manila and go to Calamba, Laguna. The Department of Transportation project is also one of the most important in the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
The AfDB will also provide minimum funding of $ 180 million for the Manila Metropolitan Bridges Project, which involves the construction of three bridges over the Marikina River with the aim of alleviating traffic congestion in the metro.
It will also fund $ 238 million of the $ 350 million Davao Public Transport Modernization Project, which “will establish a modern, efficient and affordable public transport system” in the locality. It should be deployed in 2021.
Meanwhile, the multilateral lender said 12% of its funding would help the government’s efforts to expand the public health system through the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act. This involves a loan of $ 500 million (about 24 billion yen) to support comprehensive and affordable health services for Filipinos, he noted.
The business plan “also takes an integrated approach to business recovery and employment over the next three years through a combination of programs and projects supporting structural reforms in the business sector, facilitating the employment of workers. youth and improving skills development in the workplace, ”AfDB added. Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird.
With this, the AfDB said it is preparing a political program of facilitating the transition from school to work for young people and a line of technical and vocational education and training project with its commitment to help create more jobs and improve the skills of Filipino workers in the coming year.
“The rest of the ADB loans will support environmentally friendly urban development projects in Palawan Province, located in the southwest of the Philippines, expand social protection and boost agricultural competitiveness, public sector management and the development of the capital market, ”he said.
This development, the AfDB said, involves financing improvements to the province’s urban facilities, such as sewers and wastewater treatment and drainage.
The institution also said it would work with the Philippine government on a “loan for the business and employment stimulus program” in 2022.
The AfDB is among the foreign entities the Philippines has turned to seeking additional funding for its coronavirus response measures, having lent the country billions of dollars in funding.