The World Bank on Saturday approved a $600-million (about P3 billion) loan to support the Philippine government’s reform program to position the Southeast Asian country for a competitive and resilient economic recovery.
The World Bank said the loan will support ongoing government reforms for promoting private investment, reducing the cost of doing business, and expanding broadband services to encourage investments in information and communications technology.
According to Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, these reforms are crucial for addressing immediate and long-term barriers to growth, paving the way for inclusive recovery.
“Reforms that promote competition in broadband and mobile telecommunications will benefit a large portion of underserved populations by increasing coverage and quality of service, increasing their access to markets, as well as access to remote education and health services,” Diop said.
Internet access has been essential during the Covid-19 pandemic as employed individuals have shifted to home-based work, and school-aged children also have relied on distance learning.
“Similarly, reforms that lower the costs of trade and improve the business environment are expected to benefit all firms but especially small and medium enterprises, which will have access to a larger market for their products and services,” Diop added.