ADB eyes $4.3 billion annual lending to Philippines until 2025

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will lend $4.3 billion annually over the next three years to the Philippines to support infrastructure, climate change and agriculture projects.

“We are discussing with the government our new country strategy and are looking at three core strategic pillars that are aligned to President Marcos’ eight-point socioeconomic agenda and also, we aligned with the Philippine Development Plan that is forthcoming,” ADB Philippines country director Kelly Bird said in a briefing.

He said the ADB’s country strategy would cover climate change action, climate smart transportation, and investing on the well-being of Filipinos through education, social protection, health, employment and nutrition programs.

For the lending program, he said this would have increased focus on climate change and food security.

Under the indicative lending program for 2023 until 2025, he said there are three projects in the advanced stages of design and are being considered for approval.

Among the the projects under consideration is the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge that will cover approximately 31 kilometers.

Bird said the design for the Bataan-Cavite Interlink project would be completed by the first or second quarter of next year.

“Our plan with the Department of Public Works (and Highways) is to submit to our board for approval by the third quarter of next year,” he said.

Also under consideration for the ADB’s lending program is the Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT-4) project, which is an elevated railway covering Ortigas to Taytay.

Bird said MRT-4 could likely be presented for ADB approval by the second or third quarter of 2024.

Another project project being considered under ADB’s lending program for the Philippines is the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway.

“That is for approval early 2024. If we can advance it, we will, ” Bird said.

Other selected projects or programs being considered for ADB loans include the Davao Public Transportation Modernization Project, Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation Project Phase 1 , Mindanao Irrigation Project, Post COVID (Coronavirus disease) Business and Employment Program, Competitive and Inclusive Agriculture Development Program, and Climate Change Action Program.

For the years 2019 to 2022, the ADB’s annual average lending for the Philippines was at $2.9 billion.

At present, the ADB is helping finance infrastructure projects in the country which include the Malolos Clark Railway Project and South Commuter Railway Project, both part of the North-South Commuter Railway System.