ADB President Reinforces Commitment to Philippines Development Priorities

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Today, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao fielded a mission to the Philippines, and reinforced ADB’s commitment to supporting the Philippine Government’s post-typhoon Yolanda reconstruction. He also emphasized the importance of accelerating growth by creating jobs, bridging the rural-urban gap, boosting infrastructure and human capital investments, and addressing disaster risk management.

During the high-level consultation, Mr. Nakao met Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima, Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning Arsenio Balisacan, and Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Corazon Juliano Soliman. This consultation will conclude with a meeting with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr.

In his meetings, Mr. Nakao commended the country’s macro-economic management as reflected in robust growth, a stable inflation rate, strong current account balance, and improvements in treasury operations and public debt management. He also commended the Government for the recent upgrading of the country’s credit rating. He emphasized that the country should capture opportunities from the demographic dividend with its young and educated population, track record of improved investment climate, and increasing potential in such areas as tourism and agro business.

Mr. Nakao welcomed the approach of addressing economic development and poverty reduction in parallel. To sustain growth, growth should be inclusive and generate high quality employment. He said “increased strategic use of ADB through project and program loans as well as technical assistance will help the Philippines to deepen reforms, build institutions and capacities, and expand investment in infrastructure, agriculture, education, and social protection and services”.

In the meetings, it was agreed that ADB will support development of Mindanao including Bangsamoro to build on the Bangsamoro Peace Agreement. For example, support to increase adult literacy is expected to help raise access to livelihood opportunities in the area.

Mr. Nakao gave updates on ADB assistance—amounting to almost $900 million—to the reconstruction of Yolanda-affected areas. In February, ADB opened an office in Tacloban, in order to coordinate, accelerate, and monitor the use of funds, as well as to support local governments on the road to recovery.

The Philippines is ADB’s host country and a founding member. Since 1966, the Philippines has received $14.41 billion in sovereign and nonsovereign loans, $266.15 million in technical assistance, and $75.61 million in grants.

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