ADB loan program to 2021 will support infrastructure push

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Asian Development Bank (ADB)

AN agreement is expected this month on the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) planned lending program to the Philippines, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said, with the bank saying it hopes to provide support for the government’s plans to invest heavily in infrastructure.

“A memorandum of understanding on ADB’s pipeline of projects is expected to be signed in June by ADB and the Philippine government through NEDA and DoF (Department of Finance),” NEDA said in a statement yesterday.

NEDA said that the ADB presented its lending program for the Philippines, which includes $945 million this year for two policy-based loans (PBLs) worth $600 million, a $300 million results-based loan, and $45 million in project loans.

It is planning to lend $2.47 billion 2019, including $600 million for two PBLs, and $1.87 billion for eight projects.

The ADB has also set aside $2.40 billion for 2020, including two PBLs worth $600 million, and six projects worth $1.80 billion.

The lending pipeline in 2021, meanwhile, is worth $2.10 billion with two PBLs amounting to $600 million, and seven projects worth $1.50 billion.

“The focus on project investments for infrastructure over the next years is welcome. This makes us more optimistic that the Build, Build, Build program will be rolled out without delay,” NEDA Undersecretary for Investment Programming Rolando G. Tungpalan was quoted in the statement as saying.

ADB Philippines Principal Country Specialist Joven Z. Balbosa said that its assistance packages are responsive to the country’s plans to invest heavily in infrastructure.

“As we progress from 2019 to 2021, we see that the projects are increasing in terms of numbers and amount,” Mr. Balbosa sad.

Kelly Bird, country director of ADB in the Philippines, said: “Our robust pipeline of projects and programs for the next three years from 2019 to 2021 reflects the seriousness of our commitment to Philippine development.” — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan