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Philippines gets US$415.2m loan to help flood control

MANILA: The Philippines will receive a loan of US$415.2 million from the World Bank and the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to help it solve chronic flooding in its capital city.

The lenders will put up US$207.6 million each for a US$500-million project in Manila, with the Philippine government footing the balance, the banks said in a joint statement Friday (Sep 29).

Over the next seven years, the government plans to rebuild or construct 56 stations to pump floodwaters from the coastal metropolis of 13 million people, the statement said.

The current system was built for the typhoon-prone city four decades ago.

“Recurrent flooding has made life more difficult for the poorest populations who live in low-lying areas, on riverbanks, and in other danger zones,” said Mara Warwick, World Bank country director for the Philippines.

“The floods disrupt business and commercial activities, causing unnecessary economic costs,” added Supee Teravaninthorn, AIIB director-general for investment operations.

Flooding from Tropical Storm Ketsana wreaked havoc in Manila in 2009, with damage and losses equivalent to around 2.7 per cent of the economy, according to the banks.

“The master plan will take 25 years to implement, but this phase of modernising Metro Manila’s pumping stations will ensure that several million residents will be less vulnerable to floods,” Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said.

SOURCE: KOPITIAMBOT

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