The World Bank has expressed willingness to finance various infrastructure projects in the country, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) disclosed on Saturday, Aug. 6.
DPWH Sec. Manuel M. Bonoan said the projects include upgrading of roads, improvement of school facilities and water resources, and strengthening of resilience against climate change and natural disasters.
Bonoan issued the statement after the meeting of top DPWH and World Bank officials headed by Dr. Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand (BMPT), during the latter’s courtesy visit at the DPWH Central Office.
During the meeting DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain discussed new potential areas of collaboration between DPWH and World Bank particularly the proposed “Infrastructure Development Plan for the Greater Metropolitan Sulu.”
The project is aimed at reviving the standing of Sulu as a main economic and trade hub not only for Mindanao but for the entire Philippines.
“The proposed development plan will improve transportation facilities and address the need for clean water and proper sanitation facilities, create opportunity for the development and promotion of various heritage and tourism potentials, build sustainable communities, and pave the way for eventual decline of armed conflict due to available and improved economic opportunities,” said Sadain.
The lack of fund to finance the project is where the World Bank would come in, according to Sadain.
The initial expenses would be on conduct of master plan, feasibility studies and detailed engineering for Sulu Mainland Water Supply Project, Jolo Sanitation Development Program, Development of Sulu Circumferential and Transcentral Roads, Urban Renewal Program at Coastal Communities, and Improvement of Transportation Facilities.
Sadain also tackled the Earthquake Resiliency Program for the Greater Metro Manila under the World Bank-assisted Philippine Seismic Risk Reduction and Resilience Project intended to enhance the safety and seismic resilience of selected public buildings in Metro Manila, and the capacity of the DPWH to prepare for and respond to emergencies.
“This project will involve the conduct of vulnerability and risk assessments on public buildings and subsequent structural improvement if needed,” said Sadain.
The courtesy call ended in high hopes for the renewed partnership between the Philippine government and the World Bank Group.
Aside from Bonoan andf Sadain, also present were UPMO Project Directors Ramon A. Arriola III and Soledad R. Florencio. The World Bank official was also joined by Madhu Raghunath, Sector Leader for Sustainable Development for the BMPT; Rong Qian; Lesley Cordero; Fiorella Fabella; Mavi Ladia; Hope Gerochi; and Rommel Herrera.