The Asian Development Bank expressed full support to the Marcos administration’s socioeconomic priorities aimed at achieving a sustainable long-term economic growth.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and ADB country director Kelly Bird recently discussed development cooperation and alignment of priorities between the government and the multilateral lender for the next six years.
“I am very pleased to hear that the bank is fully committed to helping us fulfill our goal of inclusive and sustainable long-term growth by aligning the ADB-Philippines Country Partnership Strategy with this administration’s socioeconomic priorities,” Diokno said in a statement Wednesday.
ADB proposed three key pillars for its 2024-2029 framework, including climate action, climate smart transport and communication and investing in Filipinos’ welfare. Consultations to refine this framework will commence in October this year, according to Diokno.
Diokno thanked the ADB for its strong support and for charting its direction within the Marcos administration’s 8-point socioeconomic agenda.
The Marcos administration seeks to address the most urgent issues confronting the Filipino people in the near term, such as rising prices of essential commodities and the lingering economic scars from the pandemic.
The medium-term plan aims to drive the creation of more jobs, quality jobs and green jobs. The Marcos administration aims to achieve this through massive investments in infrastructure, human capital development and digitalization.
Bird said ADB was fully committed to supporting the administration’s programs. He said the ADB’s program for the Philippines has been large and diversified, with its lending program to the country averaging $3 billion annually until 2024. Julito G. Rada
ADB has 28 ongoing loans amounting to $8.33 billion in the country’s portfolio. These cover projects in three strategic pillars—-infrastructure and long-term investments; promoting local economic development; and investing in people.
Among these projects are the Malolos-Clark Railway Project, EDSA Greenways Project, projects on local governance and senior high school support and programs for COVID-19 recovery.
The Philippines and the ADB are also working on an energy transition mechanism to quicken the transition of the country to clean energy.
Other programs and projects in the pipeline are another railway project, an expressway, infrastructure for disaster risk reduction and management, irrigation and programs on agriculture, tourism, financial inclusion, healthcare and social assistance.
The ADB is the country’s second largest source of official development assistance financing reaching almost $9 billion as of end-2021. The amount accounts for 28 percent of the total ODA to the country.