The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said active official development assistance (ODA) loans and grants to the Philippines reached $32.40 billion in 2022.
The portfolio reflected the government’s initiative to sustain a continuous rollout of programs aimed at addressing the socioeconomic scarring brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also seeking to secure assistance for enabling social and economic transformation beyond the pandemic.
According to the CY 2022 Official ODA Portfolio Review Report released by NEDA, the Philippines received 106 loans amounting to $30.20 billion and 320 grants equivalent to $2.20 billion in 2022.
These funds came from 20 development partners— with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) making the largest contribution accounting for 33 percent of the total ODA in the country.
The government received only four program loans amounting to $1.02 billion for COVID-19 response and recovery in 2022.
This represents a significant decline in the number of loans dedicated to addressing and alleviating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years, with 2020 having 25 and 2021 with 15 COVID-19 loans.
“The significant reduction in ODA devoted to addressing damages brought by COVID-19 reflects the country’s transition towards the new normal and is now focusing on achieving growth in the post-pandemic world,” said NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
The nation’s premier socioeconomic planning body notes that the infrastructure sector received most of the ODA in 2022, with a share amounting to $16.07 billion.
The investments in this sector supported the ‘Build-Build-Build’ infrastructure program of the Duterte administration, which is continued by the current Marcos administration through the ‘Build-Better-More’ infrastructure program.
Included in these big-ticket projects are the Capacity Enhancement of Mass Transit Systems in Metro Manila LRT Line 1 South Extension; Cebu-Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction Project; and the Second Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit COVID 19.
The following sectors also received substantial amounts of ODA: governance and institutions development ($7.16 billion), social reform and community development ($6.14 billion), agriculture, agrarian reform and natural resources ($2.66 billion) and industry, trade and tourism ($0.37 billion).
“In line with the goal of enabling sustainable growth and significantly reducing poverty, the ODA acquired in 2022 underscores the government’s continued emphasis on developing robust infrastructure, fostering good governance, promoting social reforms, enhancing agriculture and natural resources, and driving industry, trade, and tourism for comprehensive and sustainable development. Ultimately, the government’s continuous efforts to maximize the benefits of foreign assistance will pave the way to the country’s transition to an upper middle-income economy,” said Balisacan.