The government plans to spend less than P90 million for its hosting of an annual Asian Development Bank (ADB) meeting in May, a Cabinet official said.
“Our budget so far is less than P90 million this is compared to over P200 million in the last hosting,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said in a press conference for the ADB meeting.
The Philippines last hosted the Manila-based multilateral lender’s annual Board of Governors meeting in 2012.
“In real terms, the Philippines is quite frugal about it and I’m sure the ADB is also being frugal about it,” Dominguez said.
The Finance chief, who is chairman of the ADB Board of Governors this year, also underscored the need for the multilateral lender to “reinvent” itself by pursuing wider economic inclusion programs after helping transform the region into the global economy’s “center of gravity”.
“Over the past five decades, the ADB poured over $250 billion into the Asia-Pacific region. The programs of the bank no doubt helped transform this region into one of the most progressive and dynamic regions of the world.
Notwithstanding, the Asia-Pacific continues to be home to some of the poorest communities. There is a challenge for inclusiveness here,” Dominguez said.
He said that between now and in May, the ADB will be holding a series of forums and conferences to examine changing global and regional realities.
ADB Secretary Woochong Um said the institution would continue to play a critical role in helping the region adapt to challenges.
“Our agenda for the upcoming annual meeting is to forge a vision and strategy for the future of the region,” he said.
Um also said the ADB was envisioning a region that goes beyond poverty to prosperity and growth that is resilient, inclusive and sustainable.
“The Philippines can rest assured that we will be with you through all these changes. For 50 years, we have listened to you, your people, your needs and we have responded by delivering solutions to help you adapt, grow and prosper,” he said.
“Come May, as ADB’s Board of Governors ponder, plan and discuss our vision and strategy for the coming years, our partnership with the Philippines will serve as our inspiration as we forge an Asia-Pacific region that is sustainable, inclusive, resilient and prosperous.”