ADB plans to lend $3.3-B to government, with half going to ‘Build, Build, ‘Build’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 25) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to lend “a record high” $3.3 billion or ₱168.3 billion, with about half to support the government’s flagship infrastructure program “Build, Build, Build.”

In a statement, the ADB said the projects that will likely be included in the funding are the South Commuter Railway, EDSA Greenways Pedestrian Walkways, and the Angat Water Transmission Aqueduct 7.

Also to be funded by the loan “are initiatives to boost social protection, sustainable tourism, and capital market development.”

In 2019, ADB’s sovereign lending to the country totaled $2.5 billion, up from $1.4 billion in 2018.

Meanwhile, the $2.75 billion Malolos-Clark Railway Project was considered as ADB’s largest project financing in the Asia and Pacific region to date.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa paid a courtesy visit to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

During the dinner hosted by the Philippine government, Asakawa recognized the government’s effort in slashing down the national poverty rate to 16.6% in 2018 from 23.3% in 2015. This can be cited to the country’s high economic growth rates, job creation, and expanded social assistance programs, said ADB.

The government also aims to further reduce the national poverty rate to 14% by 2022.

Asakawa also met with Finance Secretary and ADB Governor Carlos Dominguez III and reiterated ADB’s support to the country’s infrastructure programs and the peace and economic development initiative in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“ADB is committed to supporting the government’s effort to reduce poverty and create high quality jobs for Filipinos by building a competitive economy and caring society,” said Asakawa.