THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it set up a satellite office in Clark to support infrastructure projects it finances in Central Luzon.

In a statement Friday, the bank said the satellite office will serve as a hub for region for ADB-backed infrastructure projects under the government’s Build, Build, Build program.

“We have a large and growing portfolio of projects to strengthen road, rail, and other transport links in Central Luzon. This new office will further improve our coordination with government agencies, especially the Department of Transportation (DoTr), and support effective implementation of these important projects,” ADB Vice-President Ahmed M. Saeed was quoted as saying.

The Clark office will provide support for administering the $2.75-billion Malolos-Clark Railway Project, the largest project finance facility used by the bank so far.

Malolos-Clark, alongside the South Commuter Railway Project, which is also ADB-backed, are part of the proposed North-South Commuter Railway which will connect the New Clark City in Tarlac province and Calamba, Laguna via a 163-kilometer suburban railway network.

The Clark office will also support the Bataan-Cavite Bridge Project, the financing for which is being prepared.

“It will help ADB continue to provide transaction advisory services to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as the agency develops New Clark City, a smart and liveable city designed to help ease traffic congestion around the national capital region of Metro Manila,” it said.

ADB is planning to lend a record $3.3 billion to the Philippines, around half of which will be used to fund infrastructure projects.

The Manila-based bank’s sovereign lending to the Philippines hit a record $2.5 billion in 2019, against $1.4 billion a year earlier. — Beatrice M. Laforga