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July 21, 2008

More World Bank loans for Philippine infra, social projects
The World Bank said it has committed to increase lending to the Philippines this year to fund social, agriculture, and infrastructure projects, a local daily reported Monday.

“We’re looking at $800 million this year, but it can be more. My credit limit is $1.7 billion for every two years,” The Manila Times quoted Bert Hofman, the Washington-based lender’s country director for the Philippines, as saying.

Hofman said the lender had lent only $250 million to the Philippines during the last fiscal year. “My last fiscal year is not so good, [but] I could go much higher this year. But it’s all up to the government,” he said.

As of last year, the World Bank’s total loan commitment to the Philippines stood at $1.8 billion.

Documents from the National Economic and Development Authority showed that for fiscal year 2008 the World Bank is programmed to fund the $12.94-million Bicol Power Restoration Project, the $232-million National Roads Improvement and Management Program Phase 2, the additional $40-million financing for the Rural Power Project, and another $10-million financing for the Second Agrarian Reform Communities Development Project.

Under the fiscal year 2009, the government has sought funding for the $250-million Development Policy Loan 2, the $63-million National Transmission Corp. concession for the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., the $260-million Light Rail Transit South Extension Project, the $50-million Local Government Support to Local Government Units (LGUs), and the $50-million National Sector Support for Social Welfare and Development Reform.

Also included in the list are the $58.32-million Participatory Irrigation Development Project, the $15.12-million additional financing for the Bicol River Basin and Watershed Management Component, the $50-million support for Regional and Local Water Supply, the $18-million additional financing for the Manila Third Sewerage Project, and the $17-million supplementary funding for the Judicial Reform Support Project.

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