PH loans for COVID-19 response now at US$5.758 B

Published June 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos 

Malacañang has disclosed that the country now has a total of US$5.758 billion in loans for the government’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

In his Thursday presser, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque revealed the breakdown of the financing secured by the Philippine government for pandemic response as of June 4:

  • ADB COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program: $1.5 billion
  • ADB Social Protection Support Project – Second Additional Financing: $200 million
  • WB Third Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan: $500 million
  • ROP Bonds Due 2045 with 2.950% coupon: $1.350 billion
  • ROP Bonds Due 2030 with 2.457% coupon: $1 billion
  •  WB Emergency COVID-19 Response Development Policy Loan: $500 million
  • ADB Support to Capital Market Generated Infrastructure Financing Subprogram 1: $400 million
  • WB Social Welfare Development and Reform Project II – Additional Financing: $200 million
  • ADB COVID-19 Emergency Response Project: $3 million
  • ADB Rapid Emergency Supplies Provision: $5 million
  •  WB COVID-19 Emergency Response Project: $100 million

Earlier, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that of these external borrowings, $2.26 billion was already disbursed or injected into the budget.

In an online forum, Dominguez said that the Department of Finance (DOF) was raising more funds for the COVID-19 response through domestic and foreign borrowings.

He also reiterated that the Philippines continues to enjoy low and concessional interest rates due to its investment-grade credit ratings.

Early this month, Roque said the country already applied for loans as an option to address the pandemic. He, however, added that the government must also practice fiscal prudence.

The Palace official had likewise cautioned about the danger of excessive government borrowing as it could push up interest rates and affect the public’s ability to pay the loans.

“Pero hindi naman pupuwede na puro utang na lang tayo. Dahil mamahal iyong interest rates natin. (We cannot resort to only borrowings. Because if we only borrow money, our interest rates will increase),” Roque had said.

“Magiging delikado dahil iyong ating mga nangungutang na publiko para sa kanilang mga hanapbuhay eh mas mataas na interes ang babayaran. (It will be dangerous for the people who borrow money for their livelihood, as they will end up paying for high interest rates),” he added.