ADB to offer $200m loan to support infrastructure projects in Philippines

WCN Editorial Team 16 Dec 2019 ASIA TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has given its approval to provide $200m loan to the Philippine government for implementing major infrastructure projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ (BBB) development programme.

As additional financing to the ongoing Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF), the loan will support in preparing several projects such as the engineering design of the Bataan–Cavite Interlink Bridge Project and the Metro Rail Transit Line 4 connecting Ortigas in Metro Manila to Taytay in eastern Rizal province.

It will also offer project implementation and preparation support for staff at the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works and Highways, for effectively and efficiently managing complex infrastructure projects.

The Philippines Government expects that the BBB programme can help in boosting long-term economic growth by increasing public infrastructure investments to 7% of gross domestic product by 2022.

ADB the Philippines country director Kelly Bird said: “Usually, major infrastructure projects take at least 5 years to prepare. But the government’s BBB program has significantly shortened this preparation period, and the IPIF support is helping with this.

“From a historical perspective, the government’s rollout of its BBB program has been incredibly successful, with public spending on infrastructure at an all-time high.”

Approved by ADB in 2017, the IPIF was a $100m loan to help the government to tap into international best practices in preparing flagship infrastructure projects such as railways, roads, bridges, and flood protection facilities.

The loan is claimed to have supported government agencies in prioritising key projects, focusing on such projects with higher socioeconomic benefits, identifying preparation steps and conducting feasibility studies. IPIF had also offered government officials access to new technologies in preparing technically complex projects, such as long-span bridges.

ADB Southeast transport specialist Asia Shuji Kimura said: “With this additional financing, ADB will be working closely with the implementing agencies to provide a holistic preparation approach for top priority projects under the BBB program, with the aim of bringing these to construction sooner than would normally occur.”

In July, the ADB signed a $1.3bn loan agreement, the first tranche of a total of $2.75bn facility for the Malolos–Clark Railway Project. The project is part of the Philippine government’s North–South Commuter Railway project, with the aim of linking New Clark City to Calamba by 2025.

The project is expected to use new technology to build an elevated railway line, with a maximum train speed of 160kmph. The railway project can help to bring down road congestion in and around Metro Manila, reduce air pollution, cut the costs of transport and logistics, and encourage economic growth and a population shift outside the capital.

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Image: ADB supports major infrastructure projects in the Philippines. Photo: Courtesy of Asian Development Bank.

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