PH urges ADB to beef up loan portfolio amid prolonged pandemic


Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III–DOF picture

President Duterte’s chief financial supervisor has urged the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to elevate its capital to increase its lending portfolio to member-countries amid a protracted combat towards COVID-19 and enjoin private-sector investments in vaccine manufacturing.

On behalf of the Philippine authorities, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III informed the ADB governors’ seminar on Monday night time that the Manila-based lender, “as the largest and most experienced development institution in the Asia-Pacific region, must effectively assist developing economies to bounce back as fast as the developed countries” amid uneven response to the pandemic.

Dominguez, who serves because the Philippines’ ADB governor, famous that whereas wealthy international locations had been in a position to present extra monetary assist and rapidly vaccinate a lot of their individuals, poor international locations struggled given their meager assets.

Dominguez stated ramping up assist to growing international locations within the area “cannot be achieved if the [ADB] maintains a ‘business as usual’ approach.”

“As I have suggested long before COVID-19 struck, the ADB must continue reinventing itself and realigning its programs to meet new realities and to stay relevant amid the fast-changing landscape. In order to be responsive to critical needs, the ADB must level up,” Dominguez stated.

Support members’ restoration

“Specifically, there is a need for the bank to seriously consider a substantial expansion in its loan portfolio in the next five-year period. This will effectively support its member-countries’ recovery even if this brings forward the need for a capital increase,” Dominguez added.

For Dominguez, “the effort to revive our economies will be a long one,” therefore “developing countries need access to financial resources to boost health care systems and build resiliency against new virus outbreaks” in addition to “support the recovery of the sectors that were severely affected by the contagion.”

Dominguez additionally reiterated his name for wealthy international locations to share their extra vaccine doses with the remainder of the world.

“It is only through the just and equitable distribution of the vaccines can the world achieve a safer recovery from the pandemic. The Philippines, therefore, supports the strong call for developed countries, multilateral institutions and global organizations to join forces in ensuring the accessibility of these life-saving doses to lower-income economies,” he stated.

Vaccine manufacturing in Asean

In the identical discussion board, Dominguez urged the ADB and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to enjoin vaccine manufacturing within the area. “I don’t foresee this to be a totally government-driven enterprise; I believe it must be a partnership with the private sector.”

“Private sector brings efficiency and, frankly, in my experience as a government minister, efficiency is not No. 1 in our DNA. So I think a [public-private] partnership where the goals and the profit, the return on investment are very clearly defined—I strongly believe that the private sector should be involved, and so must the government to moderate corporate greed,” Dominguez stated.

“Their [private sector’s] methods are so important, so I think a PPP or private-public partnership is called for in this area. For example, I know that in India, large manufacturers are totally private, and they do cooperate with the regulator not only for safety, but I believe also to have a social conscience,” he added. INQ

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