MULTILATERAL development banks (MDBs) must ramp up financing efforts to address risks to growth and enhance sustainable development, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath and the subsequent Russia-Ukraine conflict reversed much of the world’s progress toward inclusive and sustainable growth,” Mr. Diokno said in his speech at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Governor’s Business roundtable.
“In this context, MDBs are expected to scale up and reform their response to these global challenges,” he added.
Mr. Diokno also cited extreme weather events, debt crises, and persistent inflation as risks to global growth.
“The Philippines concurs with the (AIIB’s) assessment of the Members’ short- to medium-term needs to address the impacts of these economic challenges, while not losing sight of the objective towards sustainable economic growth, particularly in the race to net-zero and climate resilience,” he said.
For the part of the AIIB, Mr. Diokno said the lender should “implement its corporate strategy in an adaptive manner while remaining committed to its core function as an infrastructure-focused financing agency.”
“The Philippines welcomes the extension of the use of policy-based co-financing to further enhance the bank’s ability to respond to client demands amid current and emerging crises,” he said.
“In addition, we encourage the bank to make available more grant facilities to aid in the implementation of programs/projects and enhance the concessionality of its terms,” he added.
Mr. Diokno also prompted the AIIB to improve its presence and monitoring of development cooperation projects in member countries. “This will enable the AIIB to maintain an effective client-demand-driven approach.”
The Philippines has obtained $3.4 billion in loan commitments related to pandemic recovery from the AIIB to date. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson