Duterte wants ADB to boost support for ‘Build, Build, Build’

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2020 04:26 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte gives a warm welcome to Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa who paid him a courtesy call 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 Duterte said Monday he wants an improved relationship with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to further push his administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa paid a courtesy call on Duterte at the Department of Finance office on Monday to discuss the bank’s assistance in different government programs.

“We look forward to ADB’s enhanced support to our Build, Build, Build Program,” the President told Asakawa according to a Palace statement.

Asakawa, who served as Special Adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, assumed leadership of the Manila-based financial institution in January.

During the call, Duterte also congratulated Asakawa for his election as new ADB president, and thanked the lender for its continued assistance to the Philippines.

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

Duterte, according to Malacañang, also called for the ADB’s “aggressive participation” in the government’s infrastructure push. The President also asked for the bank’s help in improving the government’s capacity to undertake public-private partnership (PPP) projects with increased private sector participation.

The ADB last year scaled up its investments in the Philippines from $800 million annually to $2.5 billion.