The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on Friday that it opened a satellite office in Clark, about 100 km north of Manila, to strengthen the implementation of ADB-funded projects in the country.
The Manila-based bank said the office will serve as a hub in the central Luzon region for ADB-financed infrastructure projects under the Philippine government's "Build, Build, Build" development program.
"ADB's new office reinforces the growing importance of Clark as a hub for industry and business," ADB Vice-President Ahmed Saeed said in a statement.
He added the ADB has a large and growing portfolio of projects to strengthen road, rail, and other transport links in central Luzon.
"This new office will further improve our coordination with government agencies, especially the Department of Transportation, and support effective implementation of these important projects," Saeed said.
According to the bank, the ADB Philippines Clark Office will help advance the 2.75 billion U.S. dollars Malolos-Clark Railway project, one of the government's priority infrastructure projects and ADB's largest project financing in the Asia and Pacific region to date. Project construction is planned to begin by the middle of this year.
Moreover, it said the office will serve as a support and coordination hub for the South Commuter Railway project, which ADB is preparing for financing this year.
Both the Malolos-Clark and South Commuter projects are part of the North-South Commuter Railway, a 163-km suburban railway network aimed to connect Tarlac province in the north of Manila to Laguna province in the south of Manila.
The Clark office will also support the Bataan-Cavite Bridge project, which is under preparation for financing in 2021. It will help ADB continue to provide transaction advisory services to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as the agency develops New Clark City, a smart and livable city designed to help ease the traffic congestion around the national capital region of Metro Manila.
In 2019, ADB said its sovereign lending to the Philippines reached a record 2.5 billion U.S. dollars, up from 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Infrastructure accounts for more than half of ADB's 2018-2023 lending program in the country.
Source: China ASEAN Business Council