THE Manila-based multilateral development bank Asian Development Bank (ADB) could lend as much as $20 billion to the Philippines in the next five years once its new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) is completed next year.
ADB Philippine Country Director Pavit Ramachandran recently told reporters the projected annual lending of the bank to the country is $3.5 to $4 billion annually. This is the program lending for this year and next year, which could be the same amount for the next CPS.
Ramachandran said the majority (70 percent) of this lending will be dedicated to large project investments while the remaining 30 percent is for budget support. He said the CPS of ADB with the Philippine government is being drafted and may be completed in the second semester of 2024.
“This year, we are looking at about anywhere from $3.5 to $4 billion in terms of our lending. Next year, we expect a similar allocation. And a lot of this is on infrastructure, not only urban mobility, connectivity, but also, I mentioned, flood resilience,” Ramachandran told reporters.
“I think we’re looking at that being the lending [for the next few years]. It’s also consistent with what we’ve been doing now [and in] the last two or three years because these are large complex infrastructure projects [and] also some budget support mixed in on some strategic areas,” he also said.
The new CPS, Ramachandran said, will mainly follow the previous CPS but will have a greater focus on climate change-related efforts. These efforts will include financing urban mobility, flood resilience, connectivity, and river basin projects.
“It will have a very, very strong climate change focus; you know, we are aligning with the Philippine development plan, the socioeconomic development agenda, the medium-term fiscal framework,” Ramachandran said.
“It’s very much about trying to support this transition to an upper middle-income country but ensuring strong, sustainable, resilient foundation so that will be social, you know; one pillar will continue to be investing in people, investing in Filipinos that’s the health education, social protection side, there will be a climate-resilient infrastructure pillar,” he added.
Couple of projects
Meanwhile, Ramachandran said that the ADB Board may approve a couple of projects before the year ends. This includes the $1.5 billion loan for the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project.
The 32-kilometer permanent road link, also called the Manila Bay bridge, will connect the provinces of Bataan and Cavite. This is the missing link in the road network of NCR, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon Regions.
Ramachandran said the ADB Board may also approve financing for projects included in the 197 flagship projects, particularly in tapping the ADB’s Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF).
The IPIF Second Additional Financing will comprise a loan worth $200 million and a Technical Assistance Special Fund for climate-smart infrastructure worth $500,000.
The facility will finance the preparation of road and bridge projects; water projects; ail, active transport, public transport, port, and airport projects; and project management capacity of the government.
Last May, ADB said it is the region’s Climate bank as it commits to increase its climate change financing efforts to $100 billion by 2030.
In a briefing on the first day of the Manila-based multilateral development bank’s 56th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said the Innovative Finance Facility for Climate in Asia and the Pacific (Ifcap) is a first in the world.
Asakawa said Ifcap aims to use financial guarantees from ADB’s partners to provide financing for climate action across Asia and the Pacific region. (Full story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/05/03/with-new-facility-adb-keen-on-100-b-climate-financing/).Cai U. Ordinario