ADB plans $9.1 billion in loans to Philippines under 3-year plan

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2019 11:37 AM

Construction workers busy installing structural steelworks at the MRT-7 project sites along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on January 26, 2019. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Asian Development Bank said Thursday it expected loans to the Philippines to reach $9.1 billion (P468.6 billion) under a 3-year plan that will start next year.

The ADB's Philippines Country Operations Business Plan (COPB) 2020-2022 seeks to fund transportation projects including railway, bridges, road networks, and elevated pedestrian walkways.

For 2020 to 2021, the Manila-based lender said it planned to match the record high annual financing this year, which is projected to reach a record $2.5 billion.

Agriculture, public sector management, sustainable water and urban development and the social sector will also receive financial assistance under the plan, the ADB said.

"I like to call this phase the Big Bang," said ADB country director for the Philippines Kelly Bird.

At least $1 billion in loans is expected to be approved in November and December this year, which includes funding for the Angat Water Transmission project, the bank said.

In 2020, at least $3.618 billion in assistance is expected to get approval, including the $1.2 billion funding for the South Commuter Railway project.

Financial assistance worth $3.5 billion, including $1 billion for the second tranche of the Malolos-Clark Railway project, meanwhile, is expected to be approved in 2021, ADB said.

Half of its 2019 assistance program will fund the first tranche of the Malolos–Clark Railway Project, the ADB said.

If all projects are approved, the Philippines will become the third top-borrower of the ADB, Bird said.

-- with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News