ADB, country’s partner for development, Aquino says

President Benigno S. Aquino III addressed the opening ceremony Friday of the Asian Development Bank 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors and expressed his gratitude for the continued support of the financial institution to the country.

In his speech during ADB’s annual gathering at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, the President spelled out the reform measures his administration has carried out that benefited a large number of Filipinos especially the poor.

Through these measures, he said his government was able to intensify social and infrastructure investments, develop its human resources, and increase the budget on education and health care.

During the initial period of the new administration, the President said they were able to channel more government resources to the poor and underprivileged.

“The government’s conditional cash transfer program experienced an almost fourfold increase over the past two years, from P10 billion in 2010, catering to about 800,000 families, to P39.4 billion this year for over three million families. All of these we were able to do without raising taxes,” the President said.

“These are amounts that have been generously augmented by those who share our vision of an equitably progressive Philippines. The Asian Development Bank’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) assistance to the Philippines amounts to $761.97 million,” he added.

These include $643.85 million to projects concerning social protection and support for agrarian reform; rural infrastructure enhancement, and credit for better health care and irrigation in the Southern Philippines, the President said.

The chief executive also mentioned ADB’s participation in the Public-Private Partnership Program and the government efforts to reform the justice system and carry out the energy- efficient electric tricycle project. The government has started to achieve its goal because of ADB’s help, he noted.

“For this, you have the gratitude of our people, and a commitment from my administration. Gone are the days when the funds you funnel to our country will end up like water leaking through a broken pail,” the President said assuring the financial institution to continue seeing results of good government in the Philippines. The country, he said, is prepared to follow through on its commitments.

Among those who joined the President during ADB’s opening ceremony include Vice President Jejomar Binay, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando
Tetangco Jr. (PCOO)

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