Manila-based lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) is mulling to increase its loan to the Philippines specifically for the reconstruction of Yolanda-affected areas by US$ 350 million.
“We are considering to give additional US$ 350 million by the end of the year,” ADB President Tahehiko Nakao said in his speech during the dinner on the first day of three-day Trilateral Commission’s Manila Regional Meeting at AIM in Makati City that started Thursday.
The additional loan is on top of the US$ 500 million that the multilateral lender will extend to the Philippine government for the rehabilitation and reconstruction in areas greatly affected by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Typhoon Haiyan) and the US$ 23 million grant.
ADB gave part of the grant, specifically the US$ 3 million, to the government on November 14 or five days after the super typhoon devastated the Visayas.
Nacao said the US$ 3 million came from the lender’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, which was used for immediate needs of the typhoon victims.
The bulk of the grant at US$ 20 million will come from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, a Japanese-government funded trust fund.
Relatively, Nacao said that amid the devastation caused by calamities on the domestic economy the lender is maintaining its growth forecast for the Philippines for this and next year.
ADB eyes a seven percent growth for the Philippines, as measured by gross domestic product (GPD), for this year and 6.1 percent for 2014.
Nacao said the negative impact on the economy of the recent disaster is expected to be countered by the spending for reconstruction next year.
“It will be offset by the very strong domestic demand in the country on the whole … there’s several quarters the growth that is higher than expected,” he added.
For the first three quarters this year, the economy expanded by 7.4 percent , higher than year-ago’s 6.7 percent.
Growth in the third quarter alone slowed to seven percent from the previous quarter’s 7.6 percent and year-ago’s 7.3 percent.
This , however, remains at the upper end of the government’s six to seven percent growth target for the year.
Similarly, Nacao said a 40-man team from the ADB is now assisting the government in assessing the damage brought by “Yolanda”.
The 40-member Typhoon Yolanda Response Team is composed of senior staff members who have expertise in post-disaster situations. PNA