President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday vowed to efficiently and effectively utilize funding support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of government efforts to improve the lives of Filipinos.

Marcos made this call during the fourth day of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the ADB at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City, where he assured to harness cooperation with the multilateral lender towards a future that is “progressive” and “inclusive.”

He described the multilateral lender as “a reliable institution in providing loans, technical assistance, and equity investments to its members in order to promote social and economic development.”

“We must always acknowledge the ADB for being the steadfast partner in achieving Philippines Development Goals. As President, it is certainly my duty to ensure that the government remains committed in the efficient and effective utilization of this institution's assistance for the full benefit of all Filipinos,” he said in his speech.

Marcos underscored ADB’s initiatives to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 such as being one of the first institutions to provide assistance with the grant of USD3 million for the purchase of medical supplies for frontline health workers.

“On behalf of the Filipino people, I thank you for that,” he said.

He recognized ADB for allowing the Philippines to access the Covid-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) program, a quick disbursing budget support facility to aid countries in mitigating the severe economic shocks caused by the pandemic.

Marcos said he was also pleased to note that the Philippines and ADB share the “same vision” of building a brighter and more resilient future.

“It is through the bank assistance that we were able to push forward with projects in areas such as infrastructure, social reform, and community development in government and institutions development, all of which are consistent with this administration's 8-point socio agenda,” he added.

He expressed confidence that their shared goals will nurture their bonds and foster hope in the communities they serve.

“I am truly excited to see the outcome of this meeting as we set sail towards a better tomorrow that is more resilient, more inclusive, more sensitive to our people's needs and more aware of climate change and the crisis that it brings with it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Marcos emphasized the need to work together to achieve a “better normal” by developing an economy that is “green,” “sustainable,” “climate resilient” and “responsive to people’s immediate needs.”

“It is an economy that takes into account the ecosystem from which we harness our sources and what other international institutions in our shores comes to mind that does that support better than the ADB,” he said.

He also said he looked forward to having discussions on various issues of interest not only for the Philippines but also for the rest of Asia and the Asia Pacific Region and forging partnerships that would help the country and region recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The partnerships once again that we will forge in these talks that we will be having after two and a half years of virtual meetings I think will really be lighting the way of what we have to face in the near future as we navigate our way towards the new post-pandemic global economy,” he added.

The Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the ADB is a premier forum where various issues on economic and social developments within Asia and the Pacific Region are discussed also serves as an avenue to “provide guidance on ADB administrative, financial and operational directions”.

Discussions during the fourth day of the meeting centered on Managing Asia’s Energy Transition and Pathways to Sustainable Green Growth in the Time of Covid-19 Recovery.

Participants include heads of delegation, ADB Governors, and Alternate Governors as well as key officials in the Philippine government. (PNA)