NEW YORK, September 22, 2010—The World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick issued the following statement following a meeting with His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III at the sidelines of the United Nations High Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in New York City:
"I appreciate the opportunity to meet with President Aquino and to listen to his plans for fighting poverty and promoting economic growth and good governance. We stand ready to forge a stronger partnership with the Philippines for achieving inclusive growth.
"The Philippines has made a commendable commitment to expanding a modern social protection system, which not only protects the poor, but also encourages investments in health and education. Similar programs have made a real impact on achieving the MDGs in countries around the world. "President Aquino’s determination to improve the Philippines’ investment climate by rationalizing the country’s regulatory system and mobilizing the private sector for infrastructure development through public-private partnerships is commendable.
"Tapping the resources and energy of the private sector through carefully designed public-private sector partnerships would go a long way in achieving sustainable growth that create more jobs for the poor. Both developed and developing countries have increasingly been utilizing public-private partnerships in accelerating infrastructure development."
The World Bank is committed to working with the government and other stakeholders in strengthening public institutions as well as promoting transparency and accountability at the local and national levels. In a statement before he left Manila, President Aquino said: “Better governance, transparency and accountability will ensure more efficient use of funds for MDGs and will minimize leaks and waste in the use of public funds.”
The World Bank is ready to work with President Aquino on mitigating the effects of climate change on the Philippines, and to deepen its engagement with the government, civil society, private sector, and development partners to address this global issue. The Philippines is among the ten (10) countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, in particular to extreme weather events.