Hanoi (VNA) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Philippines have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a 7.1-billion-USD lending programme from 2019 to 2021 for the Southeast Asian nation.

ADB reaffirmed its strong commitment to supporting Manila in raising the Philippines' growth trajectory and reducing poverty and income inequalities at the signing ceremony, which was witnessed by Philippine Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

Also present at the ceremony were officials from other agencies in the Philippines, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Pernia said the programme will help his country move closer to its long-term vision of becoming a prosperous, middle-income nation without poverty by 2040.

The Philippine Government's “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) programme will be supported by the proposed lending programme.

Under the MoU, two-thirds, or about 4.5 billion USD, of the loan will be used for projects related to regional connection, communities, and urbanisation management.

The remaining one-third will focus on policy support and social assistance in the areas of inclusive finance, capital market development, local government development, and youth employment, ADB said.

ADB said the three-year lending programme will be monitored annually by the bank. -VNA