World Bank to fund $1.8 billion Philippines projects

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
World Bank to fund $1.8 billion Philippines projects
Based on the World Bank project updates, nine projects with a combined worth of $1.84 billion are slated for approval starting June this year.
AFP / Eric Baradat

MANILA, Philippines — The World Bank is expected to approve $1.84 billion in loans to finance nine projects in agriculture, education, tourism and flood mitigation in the Philippines.

Based on the World Bank project updates, nine projects with a combined worth of $1.84 billion are slated for approval starting June this year.

The Washington-based multilateral lender has committed $400 million out of the $700-million Pasig-Marikina River Basin Flood Management Project to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The project targets to boost storage capacity installed in the Pasig-Marikina River Basin to reduce flood risks in Metro Manila.

The proposed infrastructure comprises the large Marikina Dam and a retention basin between the Montalban and San Mateo Bridges.

The proposed Marikina Multipurpose Dam is an 81-meter high concrete gravity dam with a 350-meter long crest to be constructed across a gorge of the Marikina River.

Total gross storage capacity is about 90 million cubic meters for water supply and 7.5 million cubic meters for dead storage for sediment accumulation.

The World Bank also committed another $400 million for the Philippines First Financial Sector Reform Development Policy Financing aimed at supporting financial sector reforms that will assist the country in achieving a resilient, inclusive and sustainable financial sector.

It also aims to strengthen the resilience of the financial sector to withstand the risks arising from the pandemic, while accelerating medium-term financial sector structural reforms to support recovery.

In the agriculture sector, the World Bank will provide $280 million out of the $385.44 million alloted for the second financing of the Philippine Rural Development Project in order to increase rural incomes and enhance farm and fishery productivity in the targeted areas.

It will be implemented in areas where small-scale farmers, fisherfolk and producers are located in remote rural, agricultural, and coastal areas suffering from lack of infrastructure and poor access to markets and financing.

Another $100 million has been allotted for the Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project that would focus on ancestral domains in the region to increase productivity, resiliency and access to markets and services.

Further, the Philippines secured $200 million for the Multisectoral Nutrition Project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and National Nutrition Council.

The project is seen increasing the simultaneous utilization of a package of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions and improving key behaviors and practices known to reduce stunting in targeted local government units.

In the education sector, the World Bank will lend $110 million out of the $120 million Teacher Effectiveness and Competencies Enhancement Project to improve the quality of and equitable access to teaching in kindergarten to Grade 6 in project-supported regions.

Another $100 million will be provided to strengthen the alternative learning system in the country.

Meanwhile, the tourism sector will get a boost of $150 million out of the $170 million Sustainable Inclusive and Resilient Tourism Project to improve access to infrastructure services, promote local tourism development, and strengthen capacity for disaster and crisis preparedness.

The project will support activities and interventions for sustainable tourism and COVID-19 recovery in three destinations - Bohol, Siquijor and Siargao Island.

Interventions include the construction or upgrading of wastewater treatment facilities, septage management, sewerage facilities, water and sanitation, and solid waste management, among others.

Lastly, the World Bank will finance $100 million out of the $150 million Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Complex (APHC) Rehabilitation to enhance the reliability of clean energy generation in Mindanao.

The APHC consists of seven run-of-river hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of about 1,000 megawatts.

The project will finance the rehabilitation of some or all of the plants, based on their conditions, needs of Mindanao power system, and economic and financial viability.


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