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  • The Philippines is one of the most dynamic economies in the East Asia Pacific region. With increasing urbanization, a growing middle class, and a large and young population, the Philippines’ economic dynamism is rooted in strong consumer demand supported by a vibrant labor market and robust remittances. Business activities are buoyant with notable performance in the services sector including the business process outsourcing, real estate, and finance and insurance industries.

    Sound economic fundamentals and a globally recognized competitive workforce reinforce the growth momentum. Having sustained average annual growth of 6.4% between 2010-2019 from an average of 4.6% between 2001-2009, the country is on its way from a lower middle-income country with a gross national income per capita of US$3,830 in 2018 to an upper middle-income country (per capita income range of US$3,956–$12,235) in the near term.

    Real economic growth slowed in 2019, but was still strong with 6.0% year-on-year. Growth is now projected to significantly decelerate this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, including through the slowdown in trade, investment, tourism, remittances, and social distancing—including the associated community quarantine.

    Nevertheless, economic growth is expected to rebound gradually in 2021-2022 as global conditions improve, and with more robust domestic activity bolstered by the public investment momentum and a boost from 2022 election-related spending.

    In recent years, the Philippine economy has made progress in delivering inclusive growth, evidenced by a decline in poverty rates and its Gini coefficient. Poverty declined from 23.3% in 2015 to 16.6% in 2018 while the Gini coefficient declined from 44.9 to 42.7 over the same period. The ongoing increasing trend in real wages, which is expected to have a positive impact on household incomes—particularly those from the lower income groups—will be hampered by the impact of the COVID-19, with negative consequences also for poverty reduction in the Philippines. 

    Last Updated: Apr 21, 2020

  • The World Bank Group’s (WBG) partnership with the Philippines spans almost 75 years, providing longstanding support for infrastructure as well as engagement in key sectors, including governance, social protection, water resources, and disaster risk management. The WBG is also an active partner in helping spur private sector growth, expanding engagement with civil society, and promoting peace and development in Mindanao.

    On December 17, 2019, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has endorsed a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for the Philippines for 2019-2023. The CPF prioritizes investments in human capital (health, education, and nutrition), competitiveness and job creation, peacebuilding, climate and disaster resilience, governance, and digital transformation.

    It will support a cohesive approach to Mindanao’s development and intensify efforts to engage the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), including reconstruction support for Marawi. For instance, the Bank will support projects that link remote communities to main markets, ports, and key growth corridors; promote human development; and address drivers of conflict.

    As of end of March 2020, the Bank's active portfolio in the Philippines consisted of 10 operations financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loans, Global Environment Facility (GEF) grants, and large recipient-executed grants with a total net commitment of US$2 billion. The IBRD portfolio’s sectoral coverage is as follows: social protection and jobs (26%); agriculture and food (23%); water (16%); social development (15%); macroeconomics, trade, and investment (14%); transport (5%); and energy (1%).

    The Philippines’ trust fund portfolio consists of 59 active grants with total a commitment of US$183.3 million, which includes the large recipient-executed grants and GEF grants included in the active portfolio.

    The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has an active advisory service program focusing on enhancing the investment climate, public-private partnership projects, climate finance, financial inclusion, disaster insurance, and sustainable agribusiness.

    Last Updated: Apr 21, 2020

  • Since the Philippines government received its first World Bank loan in 1957, the Bank’s development projects in the country have produced significant results for its people.  In the past three decades, the Bank’s assistance has expanded to a wide range of projects and analytical work, policy advice, and capacity development in support of the country’s development agenda.

    Highlights of projects and results:

    The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has been helping raise rural incomes, enhance farm and fishery productivity, and improve market access throughout the country since it started in 2015. It has been supporting provincial planning, rural infrastructure, and agriculture enterprise development. It has been using tools such as geotagging, value chain analysis, and expanded vulnerability and suitability assessments to help guide public investments toward a modern, value-chain oriented, and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.

    The project has helped support provincial planning for priority agricultural commodities in all 81 provinces of the country. Since 2015, the project has benefitted around 870,000 beneficiaries—45% are women—through the provision of farm-to-market roads, irrigation, drinking water supply, agricultural enterprise projects, and coastal and marine resource conservation activities. Specifically, the project has constructed more than 2,000 kilometers of rural roads, reducing travel time by 53% and transport costs by 13.5%. Results of the household survey indicate that farmers benefitting from rural roads, water supply, and irrigation gained a 15.2% increase in annual household real income. Beneficiaries of agricultural enterprise projects – around 270,000 farmers— increase in incomes by around 30%.

    The Participatory Irrigation Development Project (PIDP) has been supporting the improvement of 58 irrigation systems throughout the country. Since it started in late 2009, the project has rehabilitated and modernized irrigation infrastructure that has been serving close to 126,180 hectares, benefiting close to 196,440 farmers and their families. It has also provided organizational development and capacity building activities to more than 924 Irrigators’ Associations. Between 2009 and 2018 when the project closed, the average paddy rice yield of farmers increased 17% from 4.27 metric tons per hectare to five metric tons in the wet season and from 4.48 metric tons per hectare to 2.26 metric tons per hectare in the dry season.

    The Bank has supported the government’s education agenda through the Learning, Equity and Accountability Program Support (LEAPS) project in the areas of early grade reading and math with a focus on disadvantaged children. The project has benefitted approximately 4.4 million students, teachers, school heads, and other Department of Education staff in terms of improved teaching and learning in reading and mathematics. Specifically, the project has trained approximately 34,000 Grade 1 – 3 teachers and 10,000 school heads in early literacy and numeracy teaching strategies. Good improvements have been recorded in reading and math scores of Grade 2 and 3 students. LEAPS has also successfully helped the Department of Education develop and roll out a department-wide financial management and operations manual—and has trained 14,121 target schools in the new performance incentive scheme.

    The Social Welfare and Development Reform Project II (SWDRP II) has been supporting the government’s conditional cash transfer program (CCT), or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which helps poor households invest in the education and health of children up to 18 years old. The program has made an significant impact on reducing total poverty and food poverty among beneficiaries, and has grown to become one of the largest in the world, supporting more than 4.87 million households as of July 2019. The program is being implemented in 145 cities across 81 provinces throughout the country.

    The program is estimated to have reduced total poverty in 2017 in the Philippines by 1.3 percentage points: from an estimated pre-Pantawid rate of 19.8% to a post-Pantawid rate of 18.5%. In addition, the program’s poverty focus helped reduce national income inequality by 0.6 percentage point from 46.8% pre-Pantawid to 46.2% post-Pantawid.

    The Pantawid Program has increased gross enrollment rates for children ages 12–17 years by 4.9 percentage points from a baseline of 80.4%, and by 10 percentage points (from a baseline of 60.8%) for ages 16-17.

    The program is also helping to reduce the gender gap in enrollment between boys and girls ages 6–14 years by 30%. Pantawid is encouraging poor women to use maternal and child health services, such as antenatal care: nearly 8 in 10 pregnant women of Pantawid households have the recommended number of prenatal checkups. It also promotes safer birth deliveries performed by doctors and improved children’s access to health care, all of which have positive effects on the long-term welfare of beneficiary households.

    The project beneficiaries of the CCT are selected through Listahanan, the national household targeting system for poverty reduction in the Philippines, which reaches three out of four households across the country. The objective selection of 5.2 million poor households in 2016 has helped ensure that government programs are better targeted for those who need them most. Given the project’s success, the Bank is providing additional financing to SWDRP II for the period 2019-2021. The CCT is being implemented in 145 cities and 1,482 municipalities in 80 provinces in the country.

    The poorest communities have benefited from projects that address their priority needs through a community-driven development approach. As of June 2019, the National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) has covered a total of 19,293 barangays (villages) in 830 municipalities in 14 regions, benefitting 5.2 million households. It has funded a total of 27,333 community sub-projects, of which 97% have been completed. Around 37% of the sub-projects done by communities were access services (e.g. village roads, footbridges, footpath), followed by social services (e.g. day-care centers, classrooms, health stations) at 35%.

    Through the National Roads Improvement and Management Project II, the World Bank has supported the country’s efforts to establish a road management system to ensure the upgrading and preservation of its national road network in an environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable manner. Implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the project has improved 295 kilometers and rehabilitated 1,200 kilometers of roads. It has awarded contracts to ensure long-term maintenance of these roads. More importantly, it has helped improve DPWH’s planning procedures and management effectiveness in maintaining the country’s road network.

    To manage disaster risks, the Bank has provided a contingent line of credit for moderate to severe disasters, as well as an innovative catastrophe insurance coverage for the most severe and infrequent events. This is combined with technical assistance to help strengthen investment planning and regulations to reduce disaster risk, particularly through support for the revision of the National Building Code. The innovative financing helps ensure that resources are available for the government’s development programs in the aftermath of a disaster. With its global expertise in post-disaster reconstruction, the Bank has been working with development partners and the government in helping develop effective disaster recovery programs and building back better infrastructure and communities.

    The Bank’s assistance has also extended to conflict-affected areas in the country, helping support better governance, access to services, jobs creation, and enhanced citizen security and justice. Supported by a range of development partners, the Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Project aims to improve prospects for peace and development in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao by improving social and economic recovery. A total of 573 sub-projects improved infrastructure, livelihoods, and functional literacy in 315 conflict-affected communities across 75 municipalities. Nearly 650,000 people now benefit from clean water, better roads, more post-harvest facilities, and better access to farming and fishing equipment.

    Last Updated: Apr 21, 2020



Philippines: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


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