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ADB says financial support for Philippines to hit record high in next 3 years
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - October 17, 2019 - 11:25am

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank on Thursday said it earmarked a “record high” financial support for the Philippines in 2020 until 2022 in a bid to help the government fix the country’s decrepit infrastructure.

In a statement, the Manila-based multilateral lender said its sovereign lending for the Philippines is expected to reach $9.1 billion between 2020 and 2022.

The ADB said it will invest 59.5% of its three-year lending program in transportation projects in the Philippines such as railways, bridges, road networks and elevated pedestrian walkways.

The rest of the financial support will be devoted to other sectors such as social, agriculture and urban development, among others.

“ADB plans to finance projects and programs worth at least $2.5 billion annually in 2020 and 2021, matching the record high of $2.5 billion in sovereign lending to the Philippines expected by the end of the year,” the global lender said.

“In comparison, ADB’s annual lending from 2008–2018 averaged about $800 million,” it added.

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to spend trillions of peso to bridge the Philippines’ infrastructure gap, which policymakers have qualified as a reason why one of the region’s fastest-growing economies had lagged behind its Southeast Asian peers for so long.

Half of ADB’s 2019 assistance program will fund the first tranche of the Malolos–Clark Railway Project, one of the Duterte government’s big-ticket infrastructure projects under its “Build, Build, Build” program. It is also the largest ADB project financing to date, worth $2.75 billion in total.

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