THE PHILIPPINES is seeking to increase the size of a digital transformation development loan to $600 million from $400 million, the World Bank said.

The loan aims to support government reforms to “foster an enabling environment for greater digital technology adoption by improving digital transformation of government and digital infrastructure policies, expanding financial inclusion through digital finance and boosting business growth in digital services,” the bank said on its website.

In March, the World Bank indicated that the Philippines was initially seeking $400 million for the digitalization program.

“Digitalization has the potential to drive productivity-led growth by reducing operating costs for firms and enhancing their resilience and preparedness for future crises,” the World Bank said.

The loan will finance measures that will improve digital government service delivery and pro-competition infrastructure policy; expand financial inclusion through digital finance; and boost business growth in digital services.

As of March 2022, the World Bank was the country’s third-largest source of official development assistance (ODA), accounting for around 23.38% of the total ODA portfolio. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson