ADB focusing on infra, health as lending to PH to hit $9.4 billion in next 3 years

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2020 02:05 PM

The facade of the Asian Development Bank headquarters in Ortigas on August 25, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Asian Development Bank on Wednesday said it is prioritizing infrastructure and health in its lending to the Philippines, which is expected to reach $9.4 billion between 2021 and 2023. 

The multilateral lender said at least two-thirds of that amount will go into infrastructure, health, and employment recovery to help the government revitalize the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.

More than 52 percent of the sovereign lending will support transportation projects, such as railways, roads, and bridges, ADB said. About 12 percent meanwhile will help the government implement the Universal Health Care Act, it added. 

For 2021, ADB said it is lending $1.75 billion to fund the first tranche of the 53-kilometer South Commuter Railway Project, which will connect Metro Manila with Laguna.

Other infrastructure projects for 2021 include building 3 bridges in Metro Manila to help ease traffic congestion in the capital. 

The multilateral lender is also expected to lend $500 million to help the Philippine government provide comprehensive and affordable health care services for Filipinos under a Universal Health Care coverage program.

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