MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Philippines and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed on a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2011 to 2016 that will target governance reforms and other measures needed to drive broad-based growth and poverty reduction efforts. The program amounts to a total of $3.8 billion for the six year period.
"The new strategy aims to better ensure that all Filipinos, especially the country's poor, are able to share in the benefits of the country's economic growth," said Kunio Senga, Director General in ADB's Southeast Asia Department. "As the government frequently notes, weak governance and corruption continue to pose a huge challenge to inclusive and sustainable growth, and ADB will be helping the Philippines remove some of the constraints that are holding the economy back from achieving its full potential."
The Philippines, where ADB is headquartered, has grown at a slower pace than other developing economies in the region over the past 40 years, partly as a result of a weak investment climate, low spending in social sectors, and weak governance. The country is ADB's fifth largest borrower in cumulative loan amount.
The new strategy, which is fully aligned with the Government's Philippine Development Plan (PDP): 2011-2016, will focus on strengthening the investment environment to attract more private funding for infrastructure development and job creation.
"This new partnership strategy builds on the Philippines' vision of inclusive growth, where no one is left behind," said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr. "The Country Partnership Strategy also complements the PDP's focus on achieving measurable results in the next six years. By supporting the strategies outlined in the PDP for 2011-2016, the CPS contributes to much needed structural reforms in the areas of infrastructure, environment and education."
Secretary Paderanga, who is also Director-General of the country's National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), added that the partnership reflects the intensive consultations undertaken by ADB with NEDA and other government agencies, development partners, the private sector, civil society and the academe.
A significant share of assistance will be targeted at addressing policy, institutional and investment obstacles in key sectors such as education, energy and transport. Support to policy reforms and capacity development will be given to help carry out governance reforms from the country level down to individual projects.
The partnership will also aim to make the delivery of social services more equitable and efficient, and to help the Philippines address environmental issues, including climate change. This will include support to urban environmental infrastructure, such as waste management, increased energy efficiency and sustainable management of natural resources, including coastal areas and watersheds.
The new strategy places particular emphasis on incorporating cutting-edge knowledge and innovation into ADB-supported projects. ADB has already supported a number of innovative initiatives in the Philippines recently, including the Pantawid Pamilya program for the country's poorest families.