President Duterte eyes strong Philippine-ADB partnership for development

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa who paid a courtesy call on the President at the Department of Finance Building inside the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex in Manila on February 24, 2020. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Manila — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday said he wants enhanced collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in various areas to push the administration’s development agenda.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa paid a courtesy on President Duterte at the Department of Finance (DOF) discussing ways to further enhance cooperation between the Philippine government and ADB.

Last January, Asakawa became ADB’s 10th president since the establishment of the bank in 1966.

During the call, the President congratulated Asakawa for his election as new ADB president expressing his gratitude for the bank’s continued support to the Philippines.

“I would like to express my appreciation to ADB for its unremitting assistance to the Philippines,” he told the ADB president.

At the same time, President Duterte expressed his support for Asakawa’s vision for the ADB, which he said, is in line with the development strategy of his administration particularly in accelerating infrastructure spending and human capital development as well as bolstering macroeconomic strength.

The Philippines, he said, is keen in strengthening further the valued partnership with the bank in different areas of cooperation.

And as the government embarks on an ambitious infrastructure development initiative, President Duterte wants ADB’s aggressive participation.

“We look forward to ADB’s enhanced support to our Build, Build, Build Program,” he said.

President Duterte also asked the bank’s assistance to improve the capacity of the government to undertake public-private partnership (PPP) projects with increased private sector participation.

Accompanying Asakawa were ADB Vice President Ahmed Saeed, Executive Director Paul Dominguez, Director General Ramesh Subramaniam, Senior Advisor Yoichiro Ikeda and Country Director Kelly Bird.

Also in attendance were Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vivencio Dizon and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

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