MANILA – Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said he recently met with top officials of the World Bank (WB) to discuss the Philippines’ sustainable development projects in the pipeline.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Finance (DOF) said the meeting was held in Marrakech, Morocco during Diokno's attendance at the 2023 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF), on Oct. 9-15.
Diokno discussed with WB Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Manuela Ferro, WB Country Director for the Philippines Ndiame Diop, and WB Vice President for the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) Junaid Kamal Ahmad updates on the country's growth outlook, as well as ways the Bank could support reforms in digitalization, water and sanitation, health, education, rural development, energy transmission, and public-private partnerships (PPPs).
The WB is the Philippines’ third largest official development assistance (ODA) partner with loan and grant commitments amounting to USD5.701 billion.
The Philippine delegation also met with World Bank Group (WBG) Managing Director for Operations Anna Bjerde.
She said the operational complex of the WBG is keen on finding ways to speed up the approval processes and execution of the Bank's projects, which is key to ensuring that countries benefit sooner and development objectives are delivered quicker and better.
The Philippines has 18 ongoing loans with the WB amounting to USD5.701 billion, including 6 loans worth USD2.336 billion signed during President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s administration.
Bjerde said several programs and projects are being considered for financing from 2024 to 2025 onwards.
A total of 20 pipeline loans amounting to USD5.677 billion are expected to be signed between the Philippines and the WBG.
These include projects in digital transformation, disaster risk management, climate, transportation, and energy.
In a separate statement, the DOF said Diokno also met with representatives of Japanese banks on Oct. 14.
Diokno urged Japanese banks to invest in the Philippines’ infrastructure projects.
The banks expressed strong interest in advancing investments in the Philippines’ renewable energy, sustainable technology, infrastructure, and fixed-income instruments.
During the meeting with the representatives of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Mizuho Securities, and Nomura Holdings, Diokno shared the Philippines’ initiatives to focus on a just transition to renewable energy, opportunities for PPPs and investments in the country’s infrastructure flagship projects, and the growing market for bonds and sustainable finance instruments. (PNA)