MANILA - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) lauded on Monday the Philippines' efforts to reduce poverty in the country as ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa paid a courtesy visit to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Asakawa noted that the country's poverty rate fell to 16.6 percent in 2018 from 23.3 percent in 2015 thanks to high economic growth rates, job creation, and expanded social assistance programs.
“ADB is committed to supporting the government’s effort to reduce poverty and create high quality jobs for Filipinos by building a competitive economy and caring society,” Asakawa said.
ADB reiterated its support for the country’s infrastructure development program, with lending planned to reach a record high of $3.3 billion this year.
"This will likely include priority projects such as 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," the bank said in a statement.
The bank said the $2.75 billion Malolos–Clark Railway Project is its largest project financing in the Asia and Pacific region to date.
Construction work is expected to begin by the middle of this year.