12 March 2014
In a reception with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), President Benigno S. Aquino III enumerated some of ADB’s numerous assistance to the Philippines which includes its presence in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda. As the President explained, ADB’s loans and grants for the affected areas is expected to go over one billion dollars. The organization also set up an office in Tacloban City to guide the local government and to coordinate on the use of funds.
Aside from the relief during calamities, the ADB likewise loaned the country more than 13 billion dollars making it the sixth largest source of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) with its overall net pledge that reached more than 833 million dollars. The loan was allocated to important infrastructure projects such as roads, airports and power plants.
With these, President Aquino expressed his appreciation to ADB and said that its programs for the Philippines emphasize the huge part it has played in the country’s exceptional growth these past few years. He mentioned that the country posted a GDP growth rate of 7.2 percent that makes it one of the best performing economies in Asia. On top of that, the Philippines is now an investment grade as unanimously handed by three major credit ratings agencies such as Moody’s Investor’s Service, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) and Fitch Ratings. In addition to this, the Philippines, he said, has also been gradually receiving good reviews from the international community mentioning its 26-place jump in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Competitiveness Ranking where the Philippines went to 59th from 85th place.
The country also jumped 20 places in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom and was named the second most profitable nation among the ASEAN-5, next to Thailand, by the Japan External Trade Organization.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we can accomplish anything and everything we set out to do if we strengthen our partnership with one another and continue working shoulder to shoulder towards one goal – not wealth nor power, not prestige, but the empowerment of millions of men and women who are our partners in this quest for development,” President Aquino said.
* * *