MANILA, DECEMBER 14, 2011—The Philippines expects to receive continued support from the World Bank (WB) for priority programs and projects in the next three years after the institution reaffirmed its commitment to the country’s development strategy during a programming discussion held at the office of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) yesterday.
The programming discussion brought together government agencies and the WB to update and validate the Bank’s financing program for fiscal year 2012, firm-up its program of support for fiscal year 2013, and discuss new project ideas for consideration in the following years.
“The World Bank’s reaffirmation of support to the country’s development plan is timely because the Government is now accelerating public spending and infrastructure development to boost growth, increase productivity, and create more jobs,” said NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan.
Projects and programs discussed at the programming meeting are in the areas of poverty reduction through improved service delivery (e.g., health, education, and community-driven development projects); improved investment climate through infrastructure development (e.g., urban transport systems, road networks, wastewater management, renewable energy,) including through public-private partnerships; reducing vulnerabilities through support to social protection (e.g., additional financing for conditional cash transfers) and rural development, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation; and support for policy reforms for more inclusive growth, among others.
Mr. Tungpalan said that in view of the challenging global economic environment, “support from the WB and other development partners will boost our efforts to spur more economic activities and create more jobs.”
“On the part of the Philippine government, NEDA has just completed the country’s Public Investment Program (PIP) that will put on faster track the implementation of the country’s infrastructure program, among others,” Mr. Tungpalan said. “Our program is not just about addressing poverty; it’s really about creating more economic opportunities, and ultimately, prosperity for the country.”
Government agencies that participated in the discussion with the WB include the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Under its current Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) that covers up to June 2013, the World Bank committed an expanded program of support in response to the Government’s request for larger lending operations. The project line- up considered during the programming discussion, and subject to further processing, runs up to US$1.5 billion for 2012.
“Our program of support for the country for 2012-2013 is guided by our Country Assistance Strategy with a firm commitment to support inclusive growth in the country,” said Acting World Bank Country Director Chiyo Kanda. “We are pleased that the programming discussion has validated our programs for the next few years, which will help expedite preparations for these development initiatives."
Country programming discussions are conducted once a year and serve as the venue for discussion between the Government of the Philippines and WB regarding the Bank’s lending program for a three-year rolling period as defined by its CAS.