ADB extends $500,000 grant to Treasury

By Cai Ordinario, BusinessMirror

Posted at Oct 14 2014 09:35 AM | Updated as of Oct 14 2014 05:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has extended $500,000 in technical assistance grant to the Philippines to improve the staff capacity of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) in securities dealing, processing, as well as in asset management.

The ADB grant will help finance the project titled Strengthening Treasury Operations and Capital Market Reform which will hire a consultant to conduct the training of the BTr staff.

In a document updated by the ADB last week, the consultant will work with the BTr staff for 22 working days starting January 2015. Funding was approved by the ADB Board in September 2014.

“The expert will work with BTr’s government debt resident adviser and assist BTr in implementing its updated organization structure as well as launching BTr’s newly developed investment and risk management functions. The expert will, likewise, strengthen BTr’s dealers by increasing their technical capacity through on-the-job training,” the ADB document stated.

The project was green lighted by the ADB Board in September and was the fourth project approved for funding by the Manila-based multilateral development bank for the Philippines this year.

The other three projects approved this year involved another $500,000 grant for the project Teach for the Philippines; the $250-million worth loan for the Local Government Finance and Fiscal Decentralization Reform Program-Subprogram 1; and a $2-million grant for the Strengthening Evaluation and Fiscal Cost Management of public-private partnerships (PPPs).

The funding for Teach for the Philippines was approved in August 2014; the Local Government project in February 2014; and the grant for Strengthening Evaluation and Fiscal Cost Management of PPPs in May 2014.

The Teach for Philippines project aims to improve the country’s progress in meeting the education-related Millennium Development Goals. The project will focus on regional and income-based inequalities.

The ADB’s participation in the Local Government Finance project is through a loan that was approved in February this year, while the bank is extending a technical assistance to the Strengthening Evaluation and Fiscal Cost Management of PPPs project approved in May.

The Strengthening Evaluation and Fiscal Cost Management of PPPs project aims to improve the financial sustainability infrastructure investments made through PPPs by strengthening the National Economic and Development Authority’s capacity to appraise PPP projects.

Apart from the four approved projects, the Philippine government still has six more projects proposed for funding by the ADB. Five of these projects are loans and only one is a technical assistance or grant project.

The loan projects include the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project, where ADB was asked to finance a $70,000 loan; the Solid Waste Management Sector Project, $70,000; and the Water District Development Sector Project, $60,000.

The loan projects also include the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project, where ADB is proposed to finance $115,500 and the Senior High School Support Program, $300,000.

The lone proposed technical assistance project involves the PFM 3, or the project previously known as the Governance and Public Financial Management Phase I where ADB’s contribution is still undetermined as of October 2014.

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