ADB to lend $300 million for RP's judicial reforms

Posted at 11/17/08 11:56 PM

The board of the Asian Development Bank is expected to approve next month a $300 million program loan to support legal and judicial reforms in the Philippines.

ADB country director Neeraj Jain said that once approved, the bank will immediately release $150 million for the Governance and Justice Sector Reform Program while the balance of $150 million will be released in 2009.

Jain said the ADB is willing to continue its program lending for judicial reforms in the country by 2010 and 2011.

Judicial reforms are among the medium-term reform programs the bank has identified to support in the Philippines.

Other program loans, designed to support the government budget, were for power sector, microfinance development, local government financing and budget reforms, financial sector reforms and intermediation and development policy support.

Program loans were approved on the conditions that the government meets its commitment in terms of improving its fiscal performance.

The Governance and Justice Sector Reform Program envisions an independent and accountable judiciary, worthy of public trust and confidence, leading to improved citizen and investor confidence.

Specific targets include improvement in percentile rank of the Philippines in the World Bank's Governance Indicators particularly the Rule of Law index and the Control of Corruption index.

The program also aims to improve case clearance rate in courts from 40 percent in 2006 to about 45 percent by 2010.

ADB loans to the Philippines for 2006-2008 averaged $665 million a year, representing about 0.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product and about 20 percent of the total official development assistance loan portfolio.

Jain said the bank plans to extend some $974 million in loans to the Philippines over the next two years, as a part of the two-year extension of its country strategy and program for the country.