President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he wants an “enhanced support” from the Asian Development Bank to finance his administration’s infrastructure programs.
In a meeting with ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa, President Duterte also asked the bank’s assistance to improve the capacity of the government to undertake public-private partnership projects with increased private sector participation.
“We look forward to ADB’s enhanced support to our Build, Build, Build Program,” Duterte said.
The ADB intends to lend the Philippines a record-high of $3.3 billion this year, with about half supporting the government’s infrastructure projects, according to its website.
The projects include the South Commuter Railway, the EDSA Greenways Pedestrian Walkways, and the Angat Water Transmission Aqueduct 7, as well as initiatives to boost social protection, sustainable tourism, and capital market development
Last December, the DOF and the ADB signed three loan agreements amounting to $623 million to support the Philippine government’s initiatives on infrastructure, competition capacity-building and youth employment.
Of this amount, $200 million will go to the Build, Build, Build program, according to ADB vice president Ahmed Saeed.
The president also expressed his support for Asakawa’s vision for the ADB, which he said, is in line with the development strategy of his administration in accelerating infrastructure spending, human capital development, and macroeconomic strength.
The Philippines, he said, is keen in strengthening further the valued partnership with the bank in different areas of cooperation.
Asakawa paid a courtesy on President Duterte at the Department of Finance to discuss ways to further enhance cooperation between the government and ADB.
Last January, Asakawa became ADB’s 10th president since the establishment of the bank in 1966.
During the call, the President congratulated Asakawa for his election as new ADB president expressing his gratitude for the bank’s continued support to the Philippines.
“I would like to express my appreciation to ADB for its unremitting assistance to the Philippines,” he told the ADB president.
Accompanying Asakawa were ADB Vice President Ahmed Saeed, Executive Director Paul Dominguez, Director General Ramesh Subramaniam, Senior Advisor Yoichiro Ikeda and Country Director Kelly Bird.
Also in attendance were Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia, National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and CEO Vivencio Dizon and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.