The government has received the third tranche of the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) financial support for the country’s coronavirus response.
In a statement, Azukizawa Eigo, JICA Philippines chief representative said the government received this month the third tranche of Japan’s Post Disaster Stand-by Loan Phase 2 (PDSL 2) amounting to 20 billion yen, or P8.71 billion.
To recall, the first disbursement of 10 billion yen under PDSL 2 was made last October and another 10 billion yen early this year.
The latest disbursement forms part of the 50 billion yen PDSL 2 as contingency funds for the Philippines’ response to the financial demand of post-disaster recovery in case of natural disasters and public health threats.
Based on the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) report, COVID-19 added pressure to the country’s fiscal position, with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) likely to decline between 2.1 percent and 6.6 percent.
Azukizawa assured that JICA will continue to support its partner countries like the Philippines in building back better from the COVID-19 crisis.
“The disbursement hopefully will support social amelioration program for vulnerable people and sectors, and thereby cushioning the economic impact of the pandemic in the Philippines particularly on job losses and support economic recovery efforts,” Azukizawa said.
PDSL 2 complements JICA’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan released in August last year and its support to the Build Build Build infrastructure agenda of the government.
PDSL 2’s earlier disbursement also supported the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation of areas devastated by Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses in 2020.
JICA expressed optimism that the Philippines can rise above the pandemic combined with the “bayanihan” efforts of the government, international partners, and private sector.
“While we support the Philippines with financial resources through PDSL, JICA will continue to extend our technical assistance in other areas to sustain economic growth, overcome vulnerability of certain sectors, and support peace building and development in Mindanao,” Azukizawa said
To date, JICA implements more than 70 development cooperation projects in the Philippines in areas such as governance, infrastructure, investment promotion and industrial development, disaster risk reduction and management, agriculture and agribusiness, among others.