PH, Japan seal ₱24-B loan for COVID-19 response

Published July 2, 2020, 11:08 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Philippines and Japan sealed a loan deal to assist the Duterte administration’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and provide economic relief to Filipinos most affected by the global health crisis.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa on Wednesday signed the agreement for a 50-billion yen (₱24-billion) loan to the Philippines.

Given the Philippines’ urgent need for budgetary support to address the COVID-19 emergency, the JPY50-billion (₱24 billion) loan was processed in less than a month, the quickest that was ever secured under

Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) financing, Dominguez said.

“Again, we express our heartfelt gratitude to the people and to the Government of Japan… for your support to the Filipino people during this very difficult situation,” Dominguez said during the signing ceremony for the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CCRESL).

“I am sure we shall soon prevail over this emergency. We will return to our growth path and recover our economic momentum. What will be unchanged is the deep friendship and cooperation between our two coun-
tries,” he added.

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, who was also present during the signing ceremony, said the emergency support loan is part of Japan’s assistance package for developing economies hit by the
COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are glad that we are the first donor-country to be able to offer such
a loan to the Philippines. The strong ties between Japan and the Philippines, particularly on the economic front have been tried and true for
many decades,” Haneda said.

The ambassador said the government of Japan has “high hopes that this loan will be instrumental in helping jumpstart the Philippine economy and running (its) fast-paced recovery.”

The CCRESL was approved by the Development Budget Coordination Committee last month and was processed by the approving authorities of both countries in only 14 working days until the signing of the loan accord.

Dominguez thanked the teams from Japan and the Philippines that both worked hard through the period of the quarantines imposed in both countries to speed up the processing of the loan.

“For all those involved in the negotiations, this is a real heroic effort,” he said.

Dominguez underscored the importance of the loan in helping the government cover its budget expenditures through additional borrowings to beat the pandemic and fund its economic recovery program.

The loan will also help cover the budget expenditures already made or about to be made by the government.

The loan proceeds will automatically be available for withdrawal once the loan is declared effective, which is expected in the last week of July.

The Palace announced last week the government has so far raised
$5.8 billion in financial support from foreign lenders to bankroll its efforts against the pandemic and strengthen the country’s economic resilience.

The foreign loans included those from Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) of France.

Of the financing obtained from development partners, the Department of Finance recently said around US$2.26 billion has been disbursed for
government programs.

Meanwhile, the Palace announced last week that the government has so far raised $5.8 billion in financial support from foreign lenders to bankroll its efforts against the pandemic and strengthen the country’s economic resilience.

The foreign loans included those from Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) of France. (With a report from Genalyn Kabiling)

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["business","business"]
[995006,2562142,2562184,2561984,2562092,2561981,2561334]