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World Bank pledges support for PBBM administration’s development agenda.
According to Malacanang, the World Bank has pledged to support the government of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. fully in its efforts to make the Philippines a “prosperous, inclusive, and poverty-free” country by the year 2040.
The guarantee was given, according to Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil, when World Bank Managing Director for Operations Anna Bjerde paid a courtesy visit on Tuesday to Cabinet members at Malacanang Palace in Manila to coordinate the bank’s priorities with the country’s development program.
According to Bjerde, quoted by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), “The World Bank is committed to supporting the Philippines achieve long-term inclusive and sustainable growth, attain upper middle-income country status, and eventually become a predominantly middle-class society by 2040.”
Bjerde reaffirmed the World Bank’s commitment to continuing to support the Marcos administration’s initiatives to ensure food security, develop the agriculture sector, address climate change, digitize government services, pursue the use of renewable energy, and seek clean water and sanitation during a meeting with the country’s top officials.
Bjerde emphasized that despite global headwinds, the Philippine economy is still strong.
“The Philippines’ post-pandemic recovery is underway, with robust domestic demand surviving adverse global economic conditions. Since 2022, its economy has been expanding quickly thanks to a significant drop in Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) incidences that allowed for a complete economic recovery, according to the expert.
Garafil, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan, and Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman were the members of the Cabinet present during Bjerde’s courtesy call.
Manuela Ferro, regional vice president for East Asia and the Pacific at the World Bank, and Ndiamé Diop, country director for the Philippines at the World Bank, were there with Bjerde.
Before the courtesy call at Malacanang, Bjerde had a meeting with Diokno and the undersecretary of finance for the department of finance, Mark Joven, on Monday at the department of finance’s office in Manila to go over the ongoing collaboration for transformational projects in agriculture, food security, health, education, renewable energy, and climate finance.
In line with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023–2028 for “deep” economic and social transformation, the World Bank emphasized the Philippines’ “excellent” progress in the implementation of its ongoing projects and agreed to support the government’s priority areas through engagements in various areas.
The prospects for the Philippines to increase investments and long-term growth were also mentioned, especially in light of the country’s young, skilled labor population and prudent macroeconomic policies.
The Teacher Effectiveness and Competencies Enhancement Project (TEACEP) and the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale-Up were the two programs discussed between representatives of the World Bank and the Philippine government.
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the Zamboanga Peninsula, and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos City) are the target territories of the proposed TEACEP, which intends to enhance both the quality of teaching and access to it for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 in these areas.
The PRDP Scale-Up, on the other hand, will build on earlier PRDP to further enhance farmers’ and fisherpeople’s access to markets and raise income from certain agriculture and fisheries (A&F) value chains.
With active loans and grants totaling over USD 6.8 billion, the WB-International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is the Philippines’ third-largest official development aid (ODA) partner.
The amount represents 21.2 percent of the nation’s overall ODA.
At a meeting with World Bank officials in September 2022 in New York City, Marcos discussed the administration’s plans for advancing and developing the Philippines.
Bjerde also went to the Office of Civil Defense’s (OCD) National Disaster Emergency Operations Center, home to the Geo-risk and Hazard Information Management System.
She claimed that in addition to impeding economic activity and harming infrastructure, climate shocks would particularly harm the weak and impoverished.
To help the nation solve these issues, Bjerde added, “We welcome opportunities to support the country’s climate adaptation and mitigation programs.”
The World Bank’s assistance to the Philippines over the past ten years has been concentrated on fostering inclusive growth through reforms to hasten job creation, social protection through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), rural development, disaster risk reduction, resilience and peacebuilding, and human capital development through increased support for the health and education sectors.
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