Palace: World Bank commits to back PH’s development agenda
MANILA, Philippines — The World Bank has committed to help the Philippine government in its development agenda to become a prosperous, inclusive, and poverty-free society by 2040, Malacañang said Wednesday.
According to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), World Bank Managing Director Operations Anna Bjerde expressed the commitment during her courtesy visit to cabinet members on Tuesday in Malacañang.
The visit was to “align the Bank’s priorities with the Philippines’ development agenda,” PCO said.
Bjerde said the World Bank had promised to support the country’s agenda, including climate change, renewable energy transition, food and agriculture, water and sanitation, innovation, and digitalization.
“The post-pandemic recovery is underway in the Philippines, with strong domestic demand weathering global headwinds. Since 2022, its economy has been growing rapidly, aided by a substantial reduction in COVID-19 cases that facilitated a full economic reopening,” Bjerde said during the meeting, as quoted by 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,” she added.
World Bank also noted the Philippines’ progress in implementing its ongoing projects, expressing its desire to support the Marcos administration’s economic programs.
Given its young and skilled labor force and sound macroeconomic policies, it noted the opportunities for the Philippines to further boost investments and long-term growth.
PCO said that the notable programs discussed were the Teacher Effectiveness and Competencies Enhancement Project (TEACEP) and Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale-Up.
The proposed TEACEP aims to improve the quality of and access to teaching in Kindergarten to Grade 6 in the regions of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Zamboanga Peninsula, and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos City).
On the other hand, the PRDP Scale-Up will build on previous PRDP to further improve farmers’ and fishermen’s access to markets and increase income from selected agriculture and fisheries (A&F) value chains.
PCO said World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is the Philippines’ third largest official development assistance partner, with active loans and grants amounting to around US$6.8 billion, 21.2% of the country’s total ODA.
Among the Cabinet members who met Bjerde were Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Budget and Management Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman, and Communications Secretary Cheloy E. Velicaria-Garafil.
Bjerde was joined by WB Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Manuela Ferro and WB Country Director for the Philippines Ndiamé Diop.