Financing from the Asian Development Bank to improve the country’s mass transport and road systems is expected to reach $15 billion by 2023.
ADB country director Kelly Bird said the Manila-based multilateral lender will provide financing for an integrated approach to address traffic issues and also promote development outside of Metro Manila. These include investments in mass public transport systems such as railways and modern bus systems and linking various transport modes. ADB also aims to create safe pedestrian walkways around common transport stations.
Additionally, Bird said ADB’s lending targets would support economic recovery and aid in climate mitigation and adaptation.
“Every $1 billion investment in railway leads to more than $1.5 billion in additional gross domestic product through stimulating economic activities and regional development. Employment multiplier is also five times the direct employment,” he added.
Most of the loans will go to projects in Metro Manila and the National Capital Region but if the public officials of Negros can still find ways to access those funds and spur development through worthwhile projects, upgrades in our mass transport systems would be definitely benefit the people and economy of the island.
The country’s transport sector is already benefiting from the government’s “Build Build Build” program, but if access to financing can allow places like Negros Island to build more than just roads but actually result in improvements to the transportation system, we should take advantage of this opportunity.*