Thursday, May 16, 2024

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The Philippines is seeking a $500 million loan from the World Bank to improve the safety of school infrastructure.


nd improve the country’s education system.

The country of THE PHILIPPINES is currently in pursuit of a loan worth $500 million from the World Bank (WB). This loan will be used to aid in the restoration of schools and the enhancement of the education system within the nation.ffected by natural calamities such as typhoons and earthquakes, as well as strengthen their disaster preparedness.

According to a loan document on the World Bank website, the proposed project for Safer and Resilient Schools Infrastructure aims to improve the structural condition and enhance the ability of disaster-affected schools in the Philippines to withstand future disasters.

“It aims to tackle the issue of restoring damaged school buildings, which have been greatly affected by various tropical cyclones and earthquakes from 2021 to 2023. This will help in resolving the problem of students attending schools in inadequate physical environments, such as makeshift learning spaces,” the statement explained.

The World Bank reported that the project’s total expense is $501.25. The loan proposal will be discussed by the board during their meeting on May 30, 2024.

The project aims to include more than 3,000 schools primarily located in Caraga, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Regions III, V, VI, VII, VIII, and XI. The Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will carry out the implementation.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. About 20 cyclones enter the country every year.

According to DepEd’s data, a total of 3,484 school facilities across the country were impacted by natural disasters between 2021 and 2023.

The data also indicated that there are 7,250 schools situated in areas prone to seismic activity, 8,000 near rivers, 5,000 by coastlines, and 1,200 on islands.

The loan document states that the project will concentrate on investing in the reconstruction of school infrastructure damaged by disasters, as well as managing and monitoring the project to ensure successful execution. Additionally, the document mentions the establishment of a pre-financing mechanism for emergencies.

The suggested plan aims to incorporate measures to reduce vulnerability into rehabilitation plans, ensuring that refurbished school buildings will be better equipped to withstand future hazardous incidents. To achieve this, the project will assist in assessing the damage and vulnerability of affected school facilities.

The goal is to tackle the issue of students’ low attendance caused by inadequate school facilities.

According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the current official development assistance (ODA) portfolio of the Philippines has increased by 0.5% to $32.4 billion as of the end of 2022.

According to the ODA 2022 Portfolio Review by NEDA, there were a total of 106 loans worth $30.2 billion and 320 grants totaling $2.2 billion. These financial resources were contributed by 20 development partners and utilized by 84 government agencies.

At the end of 2022, the total amount of loans disbursed was $4.82 billion, which was less than the $5.52 billion disbursed at the end of 2021.

billion.”

The disbursements for project loans totaled $2.21 billion.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported that disbursements in 2022 amounted to $1 billion, representing a small rise of $54 million from the disbursements in 2021.

In 2022, the total net commitment was $30.2 billion, of which 52% was disbursed through active loans. This amount of $15.84 billion takes into account any previous year’s withdrawals.

The main source of ODA in the Philippines was the Asian Development Bank (ADB), providing 33.47% of the total portfolio which amounts to $10.85 billion.

According to the NEDA, the ADB took over Japan as the primary provider of ODA last year, after Japan had held the top spot for seven years in a row.

Japan held the largest share of the portfolio at 30.75%, equivalent to $9.96 billion. The World Bank had a total of $6.86 billion, followed by China with $980 million and South Korea with $910 million.