Since 1957 when the government received its first World Bank loan, the Bank has financed critical infrastructure and rural development needs that have produced significant results for its citizens. The Bank’s assistance later expanded to a wide range of lending and knowledge products, policy advice and capacity development in support of the country’s agenda.
Investments in the roads sector were aimed at increasing mobility and reducing the travel time of road users. Support has evolved from typical construction and upgrading of roads towards enhancing roads management through a system of road improvements, asset preservation and more efficient business processes with strengthened governance and anti-corruption measures.
One such project is the recently completed Metro Manila Urban Transport Integration Project which has helped enhance the operational efficiency and safety of the transport system in the capital with the completion of infrastructure projects that include a bridge, secondary roads, footbridges and elevated walkways as well as some 50 kilometers of bikeways.
In terms of reducing rural poverty among agrarian reform beneficiaries, the average household income of project beneficiaries rose by 41% through the Bank-funded Second Agrarian Reform Communities Development Project. 124 communities benefited from the construction and improvement of irrigation facilities, roads and bridges which facilitated access to farms as well as to key support services in health, agricultural technology, enterprise development and livelihood assistance, education and credit. The second phase of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) Phase II has promoted rural growth in southern Philippines, increasing the average household income of beneficiaries by about 16% from 2007 to 2011, which is more than double the targeted increase for the period.
In education, the Bank’s assistance through the National Program Support for Basic Education has provided financing for more classrooms and textbooks. The Social Welfare and Development Reform Project also helped to bring about almost universal enrolment (98%) for children from 6-11 years old in project areas. This was made possible through the government’s conditional cash transfer program called Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps. The program provides cash grants to 3.2 million families to ensure the health and education of children while ensuring the welfare of pregnant mothers with regular visits to health clinics.
The Second Women's Health and Safe Motherhood Project also promotes maternal and infant health by encouraging mothers in project sites to seek child and maternal health counseling, pre-natal and post-natal care, develop birth plans and to have their deliveries attended by health personnel in health facilities. From the national average of 23% in 2004, childbirths in health facilities jumped to 58.37% in 2011.
The Kapitbisig Laban Sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) Project has reached approximately1.2 million households through a community-driven development approach. Communities have benefitted from new water systems, school buildings, day care centers, health stations and post-harvest facilities. The program is being expanded to cover more rural areas across the country, including areas in Central Philippines devastated by typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Under the National Community Driven Development Project, affected communities can rebuild infrastructure like local roads and bridges and receive social services.
The bank is also providing budgetary support to the government to help finance overall recovery and reconstruction efforts after Haiyan. With its global expertise in post-disaster reconstruction, the Bank is working with development partners and with the government in helping build back better infrastructure and communities.
The Bank’s assistance also extends to conflict-affected areas in the country, providing classrooms, health stations, access roads, water supply systems and bridges, while at the same time promoting social cohesion and more open governance. The Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Program, is supported by a range of development partners to support development and peace in the Mindanao region.
In the water and sanitation sector, the Bank has been supporting the government’s efforts to improve services across the country by partnering with service providers and local government units. Residents with improved access to drinking water increased from 85% in 1990 to 92% in 2010, while access to sanitation facilities improved from 57% to 74% over the same period.
In Metro Manila, the Bank’s interventions through Manila Water Company (MWCI) contributed to a dramatic increase in 24-hour water supply from 26% in 1997 to 99% in 2009 as it expanded coverage of sewerage, sanitation and septage management.