World Bank Group Announces New Partnership Strategy for the Philippines

June 12, 2014

Support to focus on the country’s goal of inclusive growth that creates more jobs and reduces poverty

MANILA, June 12, 2014 — The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has endorsed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the Philippines, which supports the country’s goal of promoting and sustaining inclusive growth—growth that reduces poverty and creates more and better jobs.

Guiding the World Bank Group’s engagement in the Philippines from 2015 until 2018, the new CPS supports the country’s development programs in five key engagement areas:

  • Transparent and accountable governance: strengthening public financial management,improving fiscal transparency and financial accountability, and supporting greater demand from citizens for government accountability.
  • Empowerment of the poor and vulnerable: improving health and education outcomes, strengthening social protection and ensuring the availability of more timely and improved measurements of poverty.
  • Rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth: promoting economic policy reform for inclusive growth, boosting private sector development by improving the investment climate for firms of all sizes, including greater access to finance, and increasing productivity and job creation, especially in rural areas.
  • Climate change, environment, and disaster risk management: increasing physical, financial and institutional resilience to natural disaster and climate change impacts, and improving natural resource management and sustainable development.
  • Peace, institution building, and social and economic opportunity: supporting social and economic development in conflict-affected regions in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro.

“With the Philippines among the fastest growing countries in the world, this strategy offers a unique opportunity for the World Bank Group to support the government's efforts to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable by creating more jobs and better opportunities. We will leverage our public and private resources to help Filipinos build resilience to economic shocks from natural disasters and climate change and to build shared prosperity including for people in Mindanao seeking the rewards of peace,” said World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Axel van Trotsenburg.

The CPS is a joint strategy of the three members of the World Bank Group (WBG): the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), also known as the “World Bank”; the International Finance Corporation (IFC) focused on the private sector in developing countries; and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) which provides political risk insurance to private sector investors and lenders.

“The World Bank Group will help mobilize private sector investment and support job creation. IBRD, IFC and MIGA will work together more closely on engagements in sectors like agriculture and agri-business, trade and logistics, infrastructure and public-private partnerships – programs and projects that will help generate more opportunities for small and micro-entrepreneurs to flourish and create more jobs,” said Karin Finkelston, IFC Vice President for Asia Pacific.

The indicative new financial commitment from IBRD may average $800 million a year, along with non-lending support in the form of analytical and advisory assistance. IFC has committed $250-$300 million in investments in the next couple of years.

“The new CPS of the World Bank Group is an affirmation of its support for the country’s development objectives. The strategy’s continuing focus on good governance, strengthened public finances and fiscal transparency will support the Aquino administration's efforts to continue the virtuous cycle of expanding our fiscal space for greater investments in infrastructure and social services,” said Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Director General Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority said the new partnership strategy is in line with the goals of the Updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016.

“The Aquino government focuses on attaining sustained high economic growth that is inclusive. More equitable access to development opportunities will ensure that even the poor will gain from and contribute to growth through highly productive and quality employment and effective social safety nets to protect the vulnerable sectors of society. World Bank Group support through the CPS will help us achieve that,” said Secretary Balisacan.

Strong macro-economic fundamentals have enabled the Philippines to record high growth rates in the last several years. Translating high-growth rates into faster decline in poverty and the creation of more and better jobs, however, remains an urgent challenge.

“The World Bank Group will prioritize projects and assistance which support poverty reduction and shared prosperity, utilizing the analytical and monitoring tools necessary to ensure that these interventions clearly benefit the poor. In particular, we will focus on areas and sectors where poverty is very high,” said World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi. 

The new CPS benefitted from extensive consultations with various stakeholders in different parts of the country, including civil society representatives, national and local government officials from oversight and implementing agencies, private/business sector, academia, members of the legislature and other development partners.

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