PH set to get 3 more World Bank loans worth $565M

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The World Bank is set to approve three more loans totaling $565 million this year for Philippine projects expected to not only aid in economic recovery but also ensure resiliency post-pandemic.

The latest documents showed that the Washington-based multilateral lender’s board was scheduled to approve the $300-million Philippines seismic risk reduction and resilience project on June 24.

This project to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is aimed mainly at enhancing the safety and seismic resilience of some government buildings in Metro Manila, as the densely populated region is prone to earthquakes.

An earlier World Bank report showed that “The Big One” scenario of a magnitude-7.2 earthquake along the West Valley Fault “could result in an estimated 48,000 fatalities and $48 billion in economic losses.”

CSC, DA-BFAR projects

On Aug. 26, the World Bank’s board is scheduled to approve the $65-million civil service modernization and human resource management in the Philippines project.

This project of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) was aimed at “[improving] the efficiency and the quality of human resource management and payroll management in selected national government agencies,” the World Bank said.

On Sept. 30, the World Bank board is expected to green-light its $200-million financing for the fisheries and coastal resiliency project, which will be implemented by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR).

Power complex rehab

The World Bank said the $220-million project would “improve the management of fisheries resources and enhance the value of fisheries production to coastal communities in selected fishery management areas.”

Last month, the World Bank approved a $700,000 grant to jumpstart project preparation for the long-planned rehabilitation of the decades-old Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power plants in Mindanao.

The financing from the Australia-World Bank Philippines Development Trust Fund will allow state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor) to prepare the project’s feasibility study and tender documents.

Upon the completion of the preparation for the rehabilitation works, the World Bank will lend the Philippines an initial $100 million to partly cover the $150-million cost of the proposed project one under the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex rehabilitation series.

The entire project to be jointly implemented by Napocor and state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm) was previously estimated to cost $300 million, which the World Bank earlier committed to fully finance.

The World Bank said the rehabilitation of Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex would “enhance the reliability of clean energy generation in Mindanao.”

In March, the World Bank also extended the $500-million additional financing for the COVID-19 emergency response project intended for vaccine procurement and nationwide mass vaccination program.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of the Treasury on Tuesday awarded all P35 billion in reissued five-year T-bonds it offered at an average rate of 3.295 percent, down from the 3.375-percent coupon rate when the debt paper was first sold last month.

Investors’ bids totaled P75.7 billion, making the auction more than two times oversubscribed.

National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon attributed the “good participation” in Tuesday’s auction plus bid rates within secondary market levels to investor expectations of an interest rate cut by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) next week.

“Markets also see that inflation will return to the BSP target range next year,” De Leon added.

The Treasury opened its tap facility window to sell another P10 billion of the bonds, which had a total outstanding volume of P70 billion to date.

Last Monday, it also sold via tap an additional P7 billion in 364-day T-bills to the 11 government securities eligible dealers (GSEDs)-market makers. INQ


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