MANILA, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering an indicative 7.1 billion U.S. dollars sovereign lending program to the Philippines from 2019 to 2021, the Manila-based bank said on Wednesday.
At the MoU signing ceremony on June 29 witnessed by Philippine Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, ADB reaffirmed its strong commitment to support Manila in raising the Philippines' growth trajectory and reducing poverty and income inequalities.
Also present at the ceremony were officials from implementing agencies, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, and Department of Interior and Local Government.
"I am very happy about this program. ADB has been very cooperative and helpful in our objectives to sustain our economic growth and achieve inclusive development," Pernia said.
He added the lending program "will help bring us closer to our longer-term vision of a prosperous, middle-income country where no one is poor by 2040."
The Philippine government's "Build, Build, Build" (BBB) program will be supported by the proposed lending program, with two-thirds of the ADB pipeline, or about 4.5 billion U.S. dollars, allocated for projects that connect regions and communities and manage urbanization, such as railways, bridges, roads, and flood management.
The remaining one-third of the pipeline will focus on policy support and social assistance in the areas of inclusive finance, capital market development, local government development, and youth employment, the ADB said.
The bank said the agreement covers an indicative three-year rolling program that is revisited annually.