Japan has released Y10 billion (approximately P4.6 billion) to the Government of the Philippines the final tranche of the Post Disaster Standby Loan Phase 2 (PDSL 2) to supplement the country’s response to catastrophes and health emergencies such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I hope this fund will help reduce the burden on those who suffer from COVID-19,” Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko said in a tweet shortly after the release of the funds over the weekend.
The release was made through the facilities of the Japan Internationa Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Following the reimposition of the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region early this month, the need to support vulnerable sectors and enhance institutional health capacities also escalated.
Following this, Japan received a disbursement request from the Philippines for the allocation of the remaining portion of the PDSL 2 to be utilized for pandemic response and recovery interventions such as the provision of emergency subsidies and strengthening of preventive mechanisms.
On September 15, 2020, JICA and the Department of Finance signed the PDSL 2 agreement establishing a contingency fund from which the Philippine government could withdraw up to Y50 billion.
The PDSL 2’s first tranche worth Y10 billion was released in October 2020, following the extension of the state of calamity in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of three PDSL 2 disbursements were made this year, including the Y 10 billion in January 2021 to aid rebuilding efforts after Typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses, the Y20 billion in June 2021 to augment the Philippine government’s COVID-19 war chest, and this latest Y10 billion released this month.
Along with Japan’s other form of support during this global health crisis, the Japanese government expressed high hopes that the PDSL 2 served its purpose as quick-disbursing budgetary support that would open the way for the Philippines to fully recover from the impact of the current pandemic.