WHAT can the Asian Development Bank (ADB) do to help the government in “revitalizing” the struggling local economy amid the crippling coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic?
Established on Dec. 19, 1966, the Mandaluyong City-based ADB maintains 31 field offices around the world to promote social and economic development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Through ADB’s sovereign lending to the Philippines, which is expected to reach US$9.4 billion between 2021 and 2023, the government is seen to accelerate the country’s economic recovery.
Reports said that more than 52 percent of the regional development bank’s sovereign lending will support the government’s transportation projects, such as railways, roads and bridges.
About 12 percent of the ADB financing will help the government expand the public health system through the implementation of the landmark Universal Health Care Act.
Without foreign loans, grants, technical assistance and equity investments, perish the thought of ever seeing Third World countries overcome the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
The ADB’s “Philippines’ Country Operations Business Plan 2021-23” will support government programs and policies designed to repair damage to the business sector and labor market.
“We are focusing on infrastructure projects that have large employment multipliers and support long-term economic growth through improved connectivity,” said ADB Vice President Ahmed Saeed.
ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird, on the other hand, said “our Country Operations Business Plan is taking an integrated approach to business and recovery.”
Many sectors have been crushed by the pandemic across the globe, but the Philippines, with the help of ADB and other friends, is seen to sustain its efforts to eradicate grinding poverty.