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Sep 29, 2017 @ 11:34

PH gets first AIIB loan to plug Metro Manila flooding


The grand plan will cost $500 million, or a whopping P25 billion to be spread out in 25 years.

The Philippines is reaping the benefits of being part of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as it tapped its credit facility to fund a massive Metro Manila Flood Management Project.

The Philippines will be borrowing $207.6 million from both the AIIB and the World Bank, while the remaining $84.79 billion will be shouldered by the government. The loans were approved during the last week of September.

“Solid waste clogs waterways and the entries to pumping stations, affecting the operation and maintenance of the pumps. The project will improve management of solid waste within the barangays (villages) near the drainage systems served by the pumping stations. It will also support the government’s resettlement of informal settlers that are located on the waterways,” the World Bank said in a statement.

The plan will upgrade 36 existing pumping stations and build 20 new ones along the cities of Manila, Pasay, Taguig, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, Valenzuela, Quezon City, and Caloocan.

The stations date back to the 1970s and have since become “inefficient,” thus the overhaul.

“The lives of people in metropolitan Manila – especially the poor, women and children – are severely affected by exposure to frequent cyclones and flooding induced by heavy rain. The floods disrupt business and commercial activities, causing unnecessary economic costs,” according to Supee Teravaninthorn, AIIB’s Director General for Investment Operations.

“Investing in sustainable infrastructure is a key priority for AIIB and we feel this project is a great fit for our first investment in the Philippines.”

The Philippines joined the AIIB on December 2015 in a last-minute submission made by then-Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima. The Aquino administration was reluctant to join the regional lender given its formerly sour ties with China amid the territorial row.

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