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ADB future programs for PHL to focus on social assistance, flood control

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THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) said it operations in the Philippines between 2020 and 2022 will focus on social assistance, education and flood control among others.

In a statement Tuesday, the bank said it is preparing its 2020-2022 Philippines Country Operations Business Plan, with initiatives including the Expanded Social Assistance project, the Facilitating Youth School-to-Work program and the Workplace Skills Funding pilot project.

“ADB is also preparing investments in flood control infrastructure in six river basins in Visayas, Mindanao, and Luzon; a Livable Cities project in selected cities and tourism destinations in Mindanao and Palawan; as well as irrigation and agribusiness in Mindanao,” it added.

To take into consideration, the ADB held a forum in Cebu on April 26 with various stakeholders to help guide the bank in its efforts.

“We want to listen to our Filipino stakeholders so that we can properly prioritize and target our assistance to the Philippines,” ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird said during the forum.

“We also want to engage more with the private sector in areas such as Cebu, where there are dynamic business and industry sectors.”

ADB President Takehiko Nakao said in a briefing in Manila last week that the bank is increasing its lending to the Philippines this year, pushing the average amount lent to $2.5 billion yearly from $1 billion previously.

He added that the bank wants to prioritize the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project, citing the need for water supply to support urban and agriculture development.

“This year we expect new lending to the Philippines to be $3 billion including the Malolos Clark Railway project… There are many important projects — one is the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project,” he said.

The ADB is expecting the economy to grow by 6.4% both this year and in 2020, which if realized would be faster than the 6.2% recorded in 2018. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal

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