MANILA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Thursday that it has approved a 300 million U.S. dollars loan to support the Philippines' efforts to help local government units (LGUs) across the country deliver high-quality and accountable services, boost economic development and reduce poverty.
The Manila-based bank said the Local Governance Reform Program (LGRP) subprogram 1 is empowering and equipping LGUs to meet the needs of citizens and ensure they deliver services aligned with local preferences, improve their capacity to raise their own revenue, and lower the cost of doing business for the private sector.
According to ADB, the program is in line with the government's plan to expand the role of LGUs as catalysts of local economic development, as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan 2017 to 2022.
"ADB supports the Philippine government's goal of creating a high-trust society, where citizens have confidence in the capacity of local government institutions to deliver services to communities and provide a simpler business environment for private enterprises," said the Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Trade at ADB's Southeast Asia Regional Department Jose Antonio Tan.
Tan added that a healthy business environment will lead to more jobs and strengthen the local economy.
As part of more recent efforts to empower LGUs, the ADB said the Philippine government has embarked on reforms to strengthen the legal framework for local service delivery to clarify roles and responsibilities, distribute shared taxes more fairly, and improve the ability of local governments to partner and coordinate on delivering key services.
"The ADB program under LGRP is helping the government provide LGUs with the tools and skills necessary to deliver high-quality public services in an accountable and cost-effective manner," said ADB Public Management Specialist for Southeast Asia Robert Boothe.