World Bank chief visits PH
The World Bank remains committed to supporting the Philippines' development priorities, World Bank managing director for operations Anna Bjerde said during her two-day visit to the country, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In a statement Wednesday, the World Bank said Bjerde's visit concluded on Tuesday. She was accompanied by Manuela Ferro, World Bank vice president for East Asia and Pacific (EAP).
During her visit, Bjerde met with Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan, Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, and Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil of the Presidential Communications Office to discuss the country's development priorities.
During the meeting, she conveyed the World Bank's commitment to supporting the country's development agenda including climate change, renewable energy transition, food and agriculture, water and sanitation, innovation, and digitalization.
“The post-pandemic recovery is underway in the Philippines, with strong domestic demand weathering global headwinds. Since 2022, its economy has been growing rapidly, aided by a substantial reduction in Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases that facilitated a full economic reopening," she said.
"The World Bank is committed to supporting the Philippines (to) achieve long-term inclusive and sustainable growth, attain upper middle-income country status, and eventually become a predominantly middle-class society by 2040,” Bjerde added.
Bjerde also visited the National Disaster Emergency Operations Center of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) which houses the Geo-risk and Hazard Information Management System.
She said climate shocks will not only hamper economic activities and damage infrastructure but also hurt the poor and vulnerable most.
“We welcome opportunities to support the country’s climate adaptation and mitigation programs to help address these challenges,” Bjerde said.
Bjerde also met with partners from various government agencies and the private sector.
She also had a meeting with representatives from the country’s business sector to discuss the Philippine business environment, digital economy, potential for expanding renewable energy, and reforms needed in the education sector.
Over the last 10 years, World Bank's support to the Philippines was focused on enhancing inclusive growth through reforms to speed up job creation; social protection such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps); rural development; disaster-risk reduction; resilience and peacebuilding; and development of human capital through expanded support to the health and education sectors.
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