ADB allots $1.73-B, 3-yr loan for PH
MANILA, Philippines - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is allocating $1.73 billion (approximately P75 billion) for its proposed lending program for the Philippines over a three-year period, or from 2014 to 2016.
Part of the lending pool will come from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Infrastructure Fund, while another $22.2 million for its non-lending program will include other “external sources.”
Based on ADB documents, the multilateral funding agency will give particular importance to projects that will involve the private sector, which in turn will open further funding sources from the Private Equity Fund for Philippine Infrastructure Investments Fund.
The priority projects are those focused on transportation, energy and power, agribusiness, urban and social infrastructure, energy efficiency, “and whenever ADB’s non-sovereign support van play a catalytic role and make a positive development impact.”
The ADB said financial intermediation through local banks and private equity funds targeted at addressing access to finance (such as for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) and housing) will remain favored for their potential for inclusive business and growth and environment conservation.
Preference will also be given to existing priorities of the Philippine government for either new funding or renewal of funding.
These are: the Education Improvement Sector Development Program, Phase 2; the Infrastructure Improvement Support Program; the Enhancing Rural Enterprise and Rural Employment Program; the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project and the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project.
Likewise, allocation changes will be undertaken on the following projects. These are: the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project (increased from $50 million to $70 million); the Second Road Improvement and Institutional Development Project (increased from $200 million to $220 million); and the Local Government Finance and Fiscal Decentralization Reform Program, Subprogram 2 (increased from $200 million to $250 million).
Non-lending assistance or grants will be focused on strengthening the capabilities to start meaningful Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programs.
Other grants may be extended to improving the competitiveness of the tourism sector, employment generation for inclusive growth, and capacity building of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The ADB documents likewise indicated that grants could find its way to capacity building for local government financing and fiscal capabilities/reforms.
Grants may also be allocated for: climate resilience and green growth; data management for performance reporting and assessment; capacity building to support regulation at the Insurance Commission (IC); and human resource processing at the Department of Finance (DOF).
The ADB may likewise allocate funding for a proposed review of the country’s power sector reforms, and revenue generation and land administration reforms of local government units.