MANILA, Philippines – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the Philippines is dealing with the global financial crisis better than most countries in the Asia Pacific region.
“The Philippines is well positioned to show great leadership in deepening economic integration both within the region and with the global economy,” ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said at a reception held last week at the ADB headquarters in Manila.
Since opening its doors in 1966, ADB has invested more than $10 billion in financial and technical assistance to the Philippines.
Kuroda noted that ADB has worked since its inception 42 years ago with other partners to help bring drinking water, irrigation, education, electricity, decent housing and many other benefits to the nation’s poor people.
The reception was held in honor of the relationship with the Philippines, which has played host to the financial institution’s headquarters.
“More specifically, it is a privilege for ADB to pay homage to our host country — a country whose people are known the world over for their determination, pride, and dauntless spirit,” the ADB chief executive added.
He added he was “very pleased as well that ADB has been able to support the government’s fiscal, regulatory and legal reforms, which have also benefited the poor while enhancing the country’s financial and economic resilience.”
Meanwhile, the Australian government recently extended a P3.8-billion grant to the Philippines over a five-year period to manage and maintain more than 1,000 kilometers of provincial roads in up to 10 provinces in Mindanao and the Visayas, under the Provincial Road Management Facility agreement.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed the agreement for the Philippine government.
An estimated four million population in the two regions will have better access to rehabilitated and maintained road networks, economic activity and public infrastructure and services that will improve their livelihoods by 2014.
“Better roads will also improve access to jobs, health services and essential social and educational facilities in rural and regional areas,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith said.
The provinces that will initially be allowed access to the funds are Bohol, Surigao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Guimaras, and Misamis Oriental.
For the periods covering 2008 and 2009, the Australian Government, through the Australian Agency for International Aid (AusAID) will provide an estimated P4.4 billion in development assistance, focusing on economic growth, basic education, and national stability and human security.–Ted P. Torres, Philippine Star