ADB, in a turnabout, praises Philippines on projects

Published by rudy Date posted on January 10, 2009

THE Asian Development Bank has given a satisfactory rating to its operation in the Philippines last year, an improvement from previous years when many targets were not achieved.

The bank also rated as successful 18 of its country assistance programs in Asia, with the Philippines emerging as one of many countries where the success rate improved in 2008.

The bank cited in particular its successful projects in the power sector, public transport and water supply. It said the Philippines was one of the top recipients of program loans along with India, Indonesia, Korea and Pakistan last year.

The bank has committed to extend $974 million in loans to the Philippines in 2008 and 2009. This year alone, the Philippines is eyeing $624 million from the bank to support six projects.

The bank approved seven public-sector loans to the Philippines worth $1.409 billion from January 2005 to June 2008, including $1.35 billion for five policy-based loans and $28.5 million for 25 technical-assistance and grant-financed projects.

The bank generated $559 million in co-financing deals, approved $434.4 million for the private sector, and supported two peso bond issues worth P7.5 billion in the same period.

But while the bank’s performance in the Philippines improved in 2008, the Philippines was one of a few countries—Papua New Guinea and Uzbekistan included—where the success rate of the bank’s sovereign operations was below 50 percent in previous years.

Only 47.6 percent of the 103 sovereign programs and projects funded by the bank in the Philippines were rated successful in the period 1968 to 2002, which was below the region’s average of 64.6 percent and lower than Thailand’s 91.8 percent, China’s 84.7 percent, Vietnam’s 72.7 percent, Malaysia’s 64.9 percent, and Indonesia’s 62.0 percent, the bank said.

The bank cited its support to the railways sector in the Philippines, which nonetheless has met stiff resistance from vested interests while enjoying considerable progress in China and India. –Roderick T. dela Cruz, Manila Standard Today

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