Philippines' hosting of ADB meeting 'more frugal' in 2018 than in 2012
MANILA, Philippines – Once again, the Philippines is the chosen venue for the high-profile Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual governors' meeting. But compared to 2012, the government will spend much less this year.
"Our budget so far is less than P90 million, compared to over P200 million in the last hosting. In real terms, we are being quite frugal. The Philippines is being quite frugal about it and I'm sure that ADB is also being quite frugal about it," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in a press conference in Manila on Tuesday, February 20.
About 3,000 delegates from member-economies of the ADB are expected to arrive in Manila for the 51st annual meeting from May 3 to May 6. (READ: Funds and fun as Manila hosts 2012 ADB meet)
Dominguez, who chairs the ADB board of governors, said among those who will attend are finance ministers of the member-economies and central bank governors, as well as representatives from the academe and multilateral agencies.
He said the ADB will hold a series of fora and conferences meant to examine the changing global and regional realities as well as determine how the multilateral lender can play an "even more effective role" in helping attain inclusive growth for the poorest communities in its member-economies.
It was in 1968 when the Philippines hosted the 1st ADB annual meeting at the old Manila Hilton Hotel.
"After 5 decades, this is a good time to explore possibilities for reinventing the bank and inaugurating new programs to enable the bank to play an even more effective role in Asia's unfolding," Dominguez said.
According to the finance chief, the upcoming discussions on inclusive growth are in sync with the Philippines' strategy on how to hurdle issues on inclusive development.
"[We are doing it through] massive investments in infrastructure projects that will link communities to the mainstream of wealth creation, and higher spending on social services such as healthcare and education to liberate millions from poverty at the soonest possible time," Dominguez added.
ADB secretary Woochong Um said the lender hopes to sustain and even surpass its level of assistance to the Philippines, after 50 years of partnership.
"The Philippines can be rest assured that we will be with you through all these changes.... Our partnership with the Philippines will serve as our inspiration as we forge an Asia-Pacific region that is sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and prosperous," Um said in the conference.
The 2018 ADB annual meeting's overall theme is "Linking Economies Through Inclusive Development," aimed at promoting inclusive growth within the region. – Rappler.com