The Asian Development Bank (ADB) continues to raise its lending to the Philippine government, with the latest involving a US$300M loan for the Expanding Private Participation in Infrastructure Program (EPPIP), plus another US$300M for the Inclusive Finance Development Program (IFDP).
ADB President Takehiko Nakao affirmed that ADB’s loan commitments for the Philippines will reach a record $1.3B for 2018. Aside from EPPIP and IFDP, another loan will support the Philippines’ Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Roads Sector project. On Friday, the ADB Board approved the $408 million Emergency Assistance for Reconstruction and Recovery of Marawi financing package.
By 2019, ADB expects to further increase its loan commitments to the Philippines to as high as $2.9B. Thus far, it has already provided the Philippines more than US$19B in sovereign and non-sovereign lending since its first loan granted in 1969.
“The reason why we are trying to increase government lending is because we want to support the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of this administration,” Nakao said. He is confident that the loans will be used in the most efficient and quick manner, adding that the Philippines has the capacity to do what needs to be done.
According to Nakao, these loans are just two of several highlights of its partnership with the Philippines for the year. He cited ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors held in Manila, its new six-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), and the approval of its Country Operations Business Plan 2019-2021 for the Philippines.
Under the CPS agreement, ADB will be lending around $7.8B to the Philippines from 2018 to 2021, or about $2.5 billion annually. Nakao said that this is more than double the amount of assistance the Philippines has been receiving annually from ADB since 2011. More than half of this amount has been reserved for infrastructure projects.
Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez emphasized the government’s firm commitment into projects involving public-private partnership (PPP), especially in managing completed and future infrastructure projects. He said that although construction of international airports in Clark City and Panglao were implemented quickly by de-emphasizing PPP, management of these facilities will be taken over by the private sector.
Dominguez added that while transport and tourism projects are the Philippine government’s current priority, other PPP projects are also being pushed. This includes the national ID program and fuel marking, which will be implemented in February.