MANILA, Philippines – The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) has awarded a $ 225,000 grant to the Department of Finance (DOF) to help steer the Philippine economy towards inclusive growth and meet the country’s goal of achieving high income country status by 2040.

Documents from the Manila-based multilateral lender showed Tuesday, January 11, that the ADB approved on December 28, 2021 the special technical assistance fund for the development support of the Philippine Growth Strategy Project. Its implementation will be until July 31 of this year.

“The technical assistance will help the DOF of the Philippines to formulate a growth strategy that will guide the structural reforms needed to stimulate potential growth and create skilled jobs,” AfDB said, adding that the health and socio-economic crises inflicted by the protracted COVID-19 pandemic had “created many development challenges.”

On the one hand, the AfDB had estimated that the Philippine economy had likely suffered losses of 1.9 trillion pesos for each year that schools were closed due to strict COVID-19 restrictions.

The pandemic-induced economic crisis has also cut more jobs for women and young people in the Philippines and across the region, AfDB reported last year.

The AfDB said the DOF was developing a strategy to “identify new sources of sustained growth that will help the Philippines to consistently achieve real GDP. [gross domestic product] growth to become a high-income country in the 2040s.

The AfDB has identified these potential “drivers of change”: governance and capacity development, knowledge-based solutions and private sector development.

The grant will also support the following sectors: agriculture, natural resources and rural development; industry and commerce; information and communication technologies; as well as public sector management.

The Philippines’ long-term vision, dubbed ‘AmBisyon Natin 2040’, aimed to triple the per capita income of Filipinos to $ 11,000 in 18 years while maintaining annual GDP growth of at least 6.5%, in parallel with the implementing policies that would make it a high-income country by 2040.

As part of the AmBisyon Natin 2040 goal, “the Philippines will be a prosperous, predominantly middle-class society where no one is poor”.


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