Welcome remarks by ADB President Takehiko Nakao at the signing ceremony for the loan agreement on Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project and Official Exchange of Documents on Encouraging Investment Through Capital Market Reforms Program (Subprogram 2) on 10 January 2018, at ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines
Honorable Carlos Dominguez III, Secretary of Finance and ADB Governor; Honorable Mark Villar, Secretary of Public Works and Highways; distinguished guests from the government and private sector; ladies and gentlemen:
It is my pleasure to participate today in this event formalizing ADB’s partnership with the Philippine government for two projects that will help address one of the most critical constraints to the country’s growth prospects – infrastructure. The Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project is supported by a $380-million loan from ADB. The Encouraging Investment through Capital Market Reforms Program (Subprogram 2) is supported by a $300-million loan from ADB. Both projects align with the government’s development strategy under the Philippine Development Plan 2017–2022. The two projects are part of a total of $1.08-billion in new assistance to Philippines in 2017. Last year’s $1.08-billion assistance reflects ADB’s commitment to scaling up our support to the Philippines and its development agenda. These projects also build on ADB’s long, coordinated assistance to its host country in supporting infrastructure development across the Philippine archipelago.
The Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector project is particularly important because Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines and home to about a fifth of the country’s total population, and has the highest poverty incidence among the country’s three island groups. Addressing Mindanao’s road connectivity constraints will help to unlock its potential as a major contributor to the Philippines’ overall growth. The project is ADB’s first support for a regional project under the government’s flagship “Build Build Build” infrastructure development program. Mindanao had been the recipient of substantial road and irrigation assistance in ADB’s early years, and this project is consistent with our work over the past five decades to support the government’s efforts to improve the lives and livelihood of the people of Mindanao.
The Encouraging Investment through Capital Market Reforms Program (Subprogram 2) will help to increase the amount of long-term finance, both public and private, needed to fund the government’s infrastructure projects. A series of reforms by the Bureau of the Treasury, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and Securities and Exchange Commission are designed to ensure that the domestic capital market can meet this challenge. ADB has supported the government’s financial sector reforms over the past decade, and we are pleased to continue to assist this important sector.
ADB is committed to supporting the Philippines in delivering its infrastructure development goals. I hope that these two projects formalized today will help bring about a closer ADB–Philippines partnership towards this goal in 2018 and in the years to come.