By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed interest anew to lend the Philippine government more funding for the implementation of several infrastructure projects that will bring the country closer to the “golden age of infrastructure.”
This was after the bank proposed a pipeline of projects amounting to $4.2 billion from 2018 to 2020 to assist the Philippines in transport, energy, education, social protection, and rural development.
At the Philippine Transport Forum held at ADB Headquarters in Mandaluyong, ADB President Takehiko Nakao announced that ADB is preparing a Technical Assistance (TA) loan of $100 million for the Philippine government.
Nakao dubbed the assistance as the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF).
“This TA loan will provide expertise and knowledge to key line agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr),” Nakao said.
“It will help the development and preparation of projects, covering project feasibility studies, design, and procurement. This Facility will fast track priority projects and move them forward for delivery under this Administration,” he added.
ADB will also provide a US$5-million TA grant for Strengthening Infrastructure Capacity and Innovation for Inclusive Growth.
This TA, according to Nakao, will develop a project management and information system which will assist oversight agencies monitor the progress of projects, identify bottlenecks and deliver solutions.
“To support the Philippines in delivering ‘the golden age of infrastructure,’ ADB has committed to work with the government in three areas: financial support, technical assistance; and advisory and knowledge sharing,” Nakao said in his speech.
The administration is now on the process of implementing its “Build Build Build” program where it wants to dramatically improve the nation’s infrastructure. The program specifically requires the allocation of R1.7 trillion or US$35 billion between 2018 and 2022 for infrastructure alone.
During the same event, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the government’s infrastructure plan “is not a dream but an inevitability.”
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade then said the public should just trust the government that it will live up to its promise of a better transportation sector.
To recall, Tugade told Business Bulletin that the country may start getting a glimpse of “the golden age of infrastructure” in the next three years which would come out as the direct result of “Build, Build, Build” program.
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