WB, ADB, AIIB ‘close coordination’ praised

Published April 1, 2021, 11:00 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The trilateral cooperation in support of the Philippines’ COVID-19 vaccination program is a testament of the closer coordination among the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Ahmed Saeed, ADB vice president said the Philippines’ vaccine deployment plan has underscored the importance of Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III’s earlier proposal for closer coordination among the three major multilateral institutions. 

Saeed cited the approach by the World Bank, ADB and AIIB with the Philippines as “an excellent example of development partner coordination.” 

“Secretary Dominguez, you have long been the leading voice amongst MDB (multilateral development bank) Governors calling for improved coordination amongst development partners,” Saeed said.

“Thank you for your strong leadership in bringing our three institutions together to support the Philippines’ vaccine deployment plan,” Saeed added during the recent launching of the loans extended by the three multilateral lenders to the Philippines. 

Dominguez first raised his appeal for closer coordination among multilateral lenders during ADB meeting in Japan in 2017.  

In that meeting, the finance chief called on the MDBs to reinvent themselves, realign their programs to meet new realities, and stay relevant amid the fast-changing development landscape.

The three multilateral institutions have responded positively to Dominguez’s proposal and have committed to explore their complementarities to more efficiently and effectively deliver development assistance to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The government, through the Department of Finance (DOF), was able to secure $1.2 billion (around P58.4 billion) for COVID-19 vaccine procurement from the World Bank, ADB and AIIB.

The three loans were simultaneously approved by the three MDBs last March 12. 

In the case of the ADB, the Philippines secured a $400 million loan under the bank’s Asia Pacific Vaccine Facility. 

The Philippines also became the first recipient of ADB financing support amounting to $300 million under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX), which is co-financed  by the Beijing-based AIIB.

Meanwhile, the World Bank’s additional financing of $500 million under the Philippines’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Project—Additional Financing (PCERP-AF) is the largest vaccine support package extended by the Washington-based lender.