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AIIB clears co-financing for Metro flood project

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved co-financing for the $500-million Metro Manila Flood Management Project that seeks to improve flood control in select areas of the metropolis.

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved co-financing for the $500-million Metro Manila Flood Management Project that seeks to improve flood control in select areas of the metropolis. 

The board of the China-led multilateral development bank approved on Sept. 27 co-financing of $207.63 million for the project, while another $207.63 million is being sought from the World Bank. The balance of $84.74 million will be shouldered by the national government. 

AIIB documents show the project had been originally scheduled for joint implementation by the Department of Public Works and Highways and Metro Manila Development Authority from September 2017 until May 2024. 

The project aims to improve flood management in select areas in Metro Manila through the construction of new and modernization of existing select pumping stations and their supporting infrastructure, improving solid waste management practices within the vicinity of drainage systems served by the selected pumping stations, and supporting the resettlement of affected residents. 

This will cover 56 critical drainage areas situated on 11,100 hectares of land — over 17 percent of the total area of Metro Manila. 

Around 36 existing pumping stations will be modernized and 20 new ones constructed in areas where the population has grown rapidly over the past few years. The related infrastructure such as flood gates, trash racks, drainage channels and other mechanical equipment will either be newly constructed or rehabilitated. 

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Some 210,000 households are expected to be affected by the implementation of the project, but the housing and resettlement component of the project will provide for the transfer of affected households in habitable areas. 

This component will support land acquisition, site development, housing construction, upfront capital subsidy, rental support (for transitional period, as needed), livelihood assistance programs, and various technical assistance and capacity-building activities that will help strengthen the communities and implementing agencies. 

AIIB likewise approved on Wednesday co-financing of the $1-billion IFC Emerging Asia Fund of which the Philippines is among the key beneficiaries. Its board committed to provide $150 million to the fund. 

The fund has so far obtained total commitments of $640 million which include $150 million from the International Finance Corp. (IFC) itself and $340 million from other investors. 

AIIB said the fund would provide investors with the opportunity to invest in IFC’s pipeline of investments in emerging Asia. The project, it said, is aligned with its mandate to support sustainable economic development and improve infrastructure connectivity in Asia. 

The IFC, through the fund, will invest in private companies in key target markets that include established markets such as China and India; developing markets such as Indonesia and Philippines; and frontier markets such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.  

Business sectors that stand to benefit from the fund are infrastructure, financial institutions, manufacturing, agribusiness and services. AIIB said the pipeline of investments in these sectors over a five-year period is designed to maximize economic impact and job-creation. 

“This fund will benefit local projects in emerging Asia by attracting additional capital inflows from global long-term investors. The bank also expects long-term income and capital gains by providing not only capital to the fund, but also by participating in co-investment opportunities with both the fund and the IFC,” said AIIB.

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