THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has set aside fresh funds for Philippine loans over the next three years, with infrastructure accounting for nearly half of the pie, the Finance department said in a press release on Tuesday.
Following a meeting with ADB officials on Nov. 24, the Finance department said that the multilateral lender, under its 2018-2020 Country Operations Business Plan (COBP), will provide a total of $4-billion loans, consisting of $1.9 billion (48% of the total) allotted for sustainable infrastructure and development, $1.2 billion for regional development and finance, as well as $900 million for human development.
This is more than the $3.8 billion ADB had earmarked in August for the same period, with $1.8 billion (47%) going to infrastructure development; $1.5 billion to education and skills development, access to finance, expanded social protection and employment opportunities for the youth; and $500 million for good governance and finance programs.
The latest total compares to $4.32 billion in actual loans approved under the 2011-2016 COBP, consisting of $1.45 billion (34%) for sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure, $2.57 billion for good governance and finance, and $300 million for employment and education programs.
On top of COBP allocations, the ADB also offered $3.68 billion under its separate 2018-2020 Philippine Sovereign Lending Program, 40% of which will go to infrastructure projects. Under this program, it has earmarked about $920 million with another $400 million on standby for 2018, $1.4 billion for 2019, as well as $1.35 billion with $600 million on standby for 2020.
Projects eligible for ADB’s sovereign financing program include the Expanding Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure Sub-Program 2 ($300 million), Inclusive Financial Sector Development Program ($300 million), Secondary Education Support Project ($300 million), Expanded Social Assistance Project ($300 million), Metro Manila Transport Project ($100 million), Metro Manila Water Supply Project ($200 million), Mindanao River Basin Flood Control Project ($160 million), Central Spine Connectivity Project Phase 1 ($100 million) and the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project ($70 million).
The ADB also reaffirmed its support for the Philippines’ flagship infra projects by co-financing with Japan the P211.46-billion Malolos-Clark Railway and the P134 billion North-South Commuter Rail line from Tutuban in Manila City to Los Baños, Laguna, as well as its commitment for a $5.225-million grant for the reconstruction of Marawi City. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan