ADB Official Cites PH Development Path

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the country director for the Philippines mentioned last Wednesday that the Philippines is one of the good examples of countries taking path of development from an agricultural economy to one that is largely supported by services.

Neeraj Jain said at a briefing, that the traditional path is to move from agriculture to industries and then to services.

“This is happening amid the revolution in telecommunications in the Philippines, and experts are now raising the question of whether economies like these are conducive to growth that is inclusive or employment-friendly,” he said.

Also, the ADB official said that the Philippines financial market would need to acquire long-term instruments to help government efforts in encouraging investments in infrastructure.

Improved infrastructure

He stated that improved infrastructure would help efforts in the Philippines to move up to higher value-added activities, particularly the manufacturing and services sectors.

An example that Jain said as an example for the better infrastructure is that it can help in the push for the business process outsourcing sector to develop service offerings other than voice-based call centers.

He said longer-term loans had to be made available for undertakings such as public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

Funding for PPP

“Banks are now providing (loans) that mature in 10 or 12 years,” he said, adding that longer intentions will provide a greater boost to infrastructure projects.

The ADB announced last month the funding support for the PPP initiative “to help sustain the positive reform momentum.”

On the other hand, Australia, through the means of the Australian Agency for International Development, has set aside $15 million for the project development and monitoring facility (PDMF) that the ADB administers. The amount was on top of the $7 million provided to the facility last year.

Jain said the additional fund would mean that the PDMF would be able to support the preparation of more PPP projects than what was previously expected as doable.

With the additional fund, it is estimated that at least 12 PPP projects would be implemented or ready by 2016, more than twice the government target of five projects by the end of 2013.

Concessional loan seen to induce $2.75B in investments

THE Philippine government expects to receive $250 million from the Clean Technology Fund to help the country implement projects that will mitigate climate change, according to Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes.

Reyes said the fund would help leverage an estimated $2.75 billion worth of investments needed to implement key programs and projects that would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Clean Technology Fund is as part of a broad global initiative to help developing countries meet the cost of actions needed to combat climate change.

To be issued as concessional loans, the CTF will largely support the deployment of low carbon energy technologies as well as energy efficiency measures for industry, commercial buildings and municipalities.

Activities supported by the fund will get co-financing from the Asian Development Bank’s regular operations and this is expected to mobilize additional financing from both the government and the private sector.

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Monetary Board okays $500-million ADB loan

MANILA, Philippines – The policy-making Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) gave its final approval to the national’s government’s $500-million loan from the Asian Development Bank, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said.

The $500-million loan, to be used for the government’s budgetary support, is part of ADB’s $3-billion fund alloted for developing countries such as the Philippines.

“The fund is for assisting developing member countries facing problems in the wake of the global recession,” Guinigundo told reporters.

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ADB sets aside $4.3B in aid for RP

Institution hopes to make dent on poverty.

MANILA, Philippines – The Asian Development Bank has earmarked at least $4.3 billion in aid for the Philippines through 2012 to push the domestic economy to a “sustained high-growth path.”

Neeraj K. Jain, ADB’s country director for the Philippines, said in a briefing that disbursements for 2009 alone would likely exceed $1.3 billion.

“Normally, the ADB [releases] $400 million to $600 million yearly,” Jain said. “This year’s amount is more than double the usual as the country feels the impact of global economic developments.”

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ADB says RP growth to decelerate further

 

The Philippine economy is likely to decelerate this year, before picking up slightly in 2010, as weak global demand for the country’s goods and services slows down consumption and investment, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a new major report released Tuesday.

ADB’s flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2009 (ADO 2009) predicts the country’s economy is likely to expand by 2.5 percent this year -–down from 4.6 percent in 2008 and 7.2 percent in 2007. It forecasts that the economy will recover slightly to 3.5 percent in 2010, assuming that the global economy and trade pick up late next year.

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ADB blacklists 41 firms, 38 persons for corruption

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) sanctioned 41 firms and 38 individuals last year for corruption but did not provide the names of those it penalized, the lender said in a posting on its Web site.

In a report from the bank’s Integrity Division, the ADB said 552 firms and individuals have been banned from working for the ADB since it began investigating corruption allegations in 1998.

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Gender issue least of RP’s problems

THE Philippines’ gender equality and women empowerment have improved despite sporadic reports of discrimination, a joint study of the Asian Development Bank and other multilateral institutions reveals.

“There is no doubt that the Philippines compares favorably with other countries in the region when it comes to gender issues. But the study identifies a number of issues that need further attention,” said Karin Schelzig Bloom, a Social Sector specialist at the Asian Development Bank.

In the study “Paradox and Promise in the Philippines: A Joint Country Assessment,” the country is reported to have enacted laws that protect and promote women’s rights; however, the focus must now be on implementation.

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Lake Taal as water source for Manila

 

Lake Taal as water source for Manila

Lake Taal as water source for Manila

The late Enrique Zobel suggested tapping Lake Taal for the water needs of the rapidly growing population of Metro Manila. To this day, decades after the suggestion was made, we still face the specter of water shortage with the advent of summer.

 

Zobel’s suggestion seems logical and practical. The water from Taal is unpolluted and will require minimal treatment.

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