ADB OKs $303-M PHL infra loan vs floods, climate risks


THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday it has approved a $303-million loan for an infrastructure project that is expected to reduce flood and climate risks and protect people and livelihoods in three major river basins in the Philippines.

In a statement on Wednesday, ADB said Phase 1 of the Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation Project will upgrade and construct flood protection infrastructure in the Abra river basin in the northern Luzon region and the Ranao/Agus and Tagum-Libuganon river basins in southern Mindanao.

The multilateral development bank said the infrastructure takes into account future “climate change impacts” and incorporates nature-based solutions such as restoring and reconnecting old river channels for natural drainage and reinforcing riverbanks with mangroves and vegetation planting.

ADB Senior Water Resources Specialist Junko Sagara emphasized that the project will help lessen the risks from extreme weather events and improve income and livelihood opportunities, especially for the poor and vulnerable.

“Climate change is expected to raise risks from extreme weather events. These river basin communities are highly vulnerable to climate-related hazards, as we have seen in recent years when typhoons destroyed infrastructure, displaced families, and damaged crops,” Sagara said.

Moreover, ADB said the project will help strengthen the Philippines’s capacity to perform flood risk management planning by providing training for government officials, installing equipment for weather and river flow monitoring and early flood warning, and introducing an asset management information system.

According to ADB, the project also aims to boost community-based flood risk management by supporting 22 local government units (LGUs) and about 150 barangays in updating their climate and disaster risk assessments and integrating flood risk management in local development plans.

“Training activities will be conducted to build the capacity of communities in climate change adaptation and managing flood risks,” ADB said in a statement on Wednesday.

The project, it added, will include civil society organizations and beneficiary groups in its planning and implementation.

ADB said the feasibility study and design for the project were supported by ADB’s Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility, which has been helping Philippine government agencies access information on up-to-date technology and innovative designs in building major infrastructure projects since 2017.