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Aquino's efforts get thumbs up from WB official

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President Benigno S. Aquino's determination to fight poverty, promote economic growth and uphold good governance received approval from World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick.

Zoellick and the President met at the Sofitel Hotel in New York at 3 p.m. Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) on the sidelines of the 65th United Nations General Assembly.

"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," Zoellick said in a statement.

The World Bank president commended the President's 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 to nine months. The President also ordered the creation of the PPP center that will supervise projects under the said scheme.

"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," Zoellick said.

He noted that there has been increasing implementation of PPP for infrastructure development among developed and developing countries.

Zoellick stressed that WB is ready to forge a stronger partnership with the Philippines for achieving rapid, sustainable and broad-based growth. (PNA)




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