WORLD BANK OKAYS $300-M LOAN TO SUPPORT PH'S CRITICAL REFORMS

MANILA, MARCH 25, 2013 (MANILA STANDARD) By Julito G. Rada - The World Bank approved a $300-million loan to support the Philippines’ critical reforms to accelerate growth, create more jobs and reduce poverty.

It said the $300-million development policy loan would support the government’s budget for programs to improve the country’s investment climate, strengthen governance and enhance poor families’ access to basic education and health care, as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.

“The Philippines is vigorously implementing a comprehensive reform agenda centered on restoring people’s trust in government through improved governance and empowering them to rise above poverty.

We are pleased to support the program…,” World Bank country director Motoo Konishi said following the loan approval.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the loan, coupled with the support of other sectors, would boost the country’s efforts in making sure that more Filipinos were contributing to and benefitting from economic growth.

“Our game plan for putting the Philippine economy on solid ground amid a tough global environment is producing good results,” Purisima said.

“With this new financing program, we are ramping up investments in infrastructure to make the country more conducive to doing business. We have increased allocation for tourism infrastructure in order to attract more tourists from within the country and abroad. All these measures help generate more jobs,” he said.

Development policy loans provide quick-disbursing assistance to countries undertaking reforms. They typically support policy and institutional changes needed to create an environment conducive to sustained and equitable growth as defined by borrower-countries’ own development agenda.

The government expects to increase tax-to-GDP ratio by two percentage points from 12.1 in 2012 to 14.1 to generate more resources for financing important economic and social programs.

The economy emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in East Asia in recent years. Growth accelerated to 6.6 percent in 2012 from 3.9 percent in 2011.

Economists attribute the growth trend to the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals, improved government finances and execution of public investments, expansion of the construction sector, buoyant private consumption and high confidence in the Aquino government’s commitment to reform.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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