Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Foreign Aid to the Philippines

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Tuesday said the bulk of the foreign aids to the Philippines went to the infrastructure sector over the past 10 years. 

In a statement, NEDA said the infrastructure sector received the largest share of the total loans accounting for 60 percent, or US$ 5.74 billion last year and an average of 63 percent in the past 10 years.

The agriculture, agrarian reform and natural resources sector had the second largest share of 17 percent, or $ 1.61 billion.

Both the shares of the social reform and development sector and the governance and institutions development sector were nine percent at US$ 904 million and US$ 909 million in 2009, respectively.

As of last year, the total official development assistance (ODA) loan commitment amounted to US$ 9.64 billion.

The government of Japan, on the other hand, was still the biggest source of ODA loans last year and in the last 10 years.

ODA assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) amounted to US$ 3.47 billion last year, lower than the average US$ 5.72 billion in the last 10 years.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s ODA to the Philippines amounted to US$ 2.35 billion last year, while the World Bank's assistance reached US$ 1.57 billion.

The other sources account, comprising ODA from China, Germany, Belgium, South Korea, Austria, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Kuwait, amounted to US$ 1.8 billion in 2009.

The Philippines' ODA loans portfolio last year amounted to US$ 10.137 billion, covering 107 loans composed of 95 project loans, or US$ 7.71 billion, and 12 program loans amounting to $ 2.43 billion.

Economic Forecast for the Philippines

By Joanne Villanueva

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its growth forecast for the Philippines to 4.5 percent by next year.

This was announced Tuesday after the week-long IMF Staff Visit to Manila since last week.

In the IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) released earlier this month, the lender projected a six percent growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GPD), for the country this year and four percent for next year.

Vivek Arora, head of the Staff Visit team, said the improvement in their forecast was made on account of recent developments showing the continued resiliency of the domestic economy to the recent crisis as well as ongoing debt crisis in the Euro area.

In a statement, the IMF team said the country "emerged relatively well from the global financial crisis."

"The monetary and fiscal policy stimulus in response to the global crisis in 2008-2009, as well as resilient remittances, helped to cushion the downturn and is now supporting the strong recovery," it said.

Amid the increase in the lender's 2011 growth forecast for the country, the figure is lower than the government's seven to eight percent target.

IMF's 2010 forecast for the Philippines is at the higher end of the government's five to six percent target.