Philippines gets $415.2-M loan to help flood control

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 29 2017 10:20 PM

The country will receive a loan of $415.2 million from the World Bank and the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to help it solve chronic flooding in Manila.

The lenders will put up $207.6 million each for a $500-million project in Manila, with the Philippine government footing the balance, the banks said in a joint statement Friday.

Over the next 7 years, the government plans to rebuild or construct 56 stations to pump floodwaters from the coastal metropolis of 13 million people, the statement said. 

The current system was built for the typhoon-prone city four decades ago.

"Recurrent flooding has made life more difficult for the poorest populations who live in low-lying areas, on riverbanks, and in other danger zones," said Mara Warwick, World Bank country director for the Philippines.

Supee Teravaninthorn, AIIB director-general for investment operations added: "The floods disrupt business and commercial activities, causing unnecessary economic costs." 

Flooding from Typhoon Ondoy wreaked havoc in Manila in 2009, with damage and losses equivalent to about 2.7% of the economy, according to the banks.

"The master plan will take 25 years to implement, but this phase of modernising Metro Manila's pumping stations will ensure that several million residents will be less vulnerable to floods," Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said.