WB supports Aquino’s reform agenda
THE AQUINO government’s plan to fight poverty, promote economic growth and uphold good governance received approval from World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, who met with President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III on Wednesday in New York.
“The Philippines has made a commendable commitment to expanding a modern social protection system, which not only protects the poor, but also encourages investments in health and education. Similar programs have made a real impact on achieving the MDGs in countries around the world,” Mr. Zoellick said in a statement following their meeting at the sidelines of the United Nations High Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in New York.
Mr. Zoellick also recognized efforts to improve the country’s investment climate by rationalizing the regulatory system and tapping the private sector for infrastructure developments through the so-called public-private partnerships (PPP).
The government has vowed to cut the approval process for solicited proposals to six months and for unsolicited projects for nine months. Mr. Aquino has also ordered the creation of the PPP center that would supervise projects under the scheme pushed by the government.
“Tapping the resources and energy of the private sector through carefully designed public-private sector partnerships would go a long way in achieving sustainable growth that create more jobs for the poor,” said Mr. Zoellick noting that there has been increasing implementation of PPP for infrastructure development among developed and developing countries. — Ana Mae G. Roa