July 16, 2014
THE WORLD BANK Group has proposed a $119-million (P5.17 billion) funding for infrastructure projects in Mindanao, in support of the peace process between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The World Bank Group, in a press release, said the funding will support farm-to-market roads, bridges, communal irrigation systems and potable water in the region, including areas in the Autonomous Region in Mindanao (ARMM).
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a press conference the funding is part of the Washington-based multilateralâ€™s support of the peace process in Mindanao.
â€œWhen thereâ€™s no peace, thereâ€™s no prosperity,â€ Mr. Kim said.
â€œWe think these are the kinds of investments that are critical in moving forward,â€ he added.
The $119-million grant forms part of the $508 million earmarked under the proposed Philippines Rural Development Program (PRDP), a six-year program for infrastructure projects and livelihood programs.
The PRDP will be presented to the World Bank Groupâ€™s Board of Executive Directors next month for approval.
The International Finance Corp. (IFC), the WBâ€™s private sector arm, is also looking at proposing investments that will generate at least 6,000 jobs in Mindanao.
The WB has formed a new country partnership strategy (CPS) in the Philippines where the multilateral has committed to provide $3.2 billion in assistance from 2015 to 2018 and another $1 billion for investments in business and industry. — Mikhail Franz E. Flores