MANILA – The Philippine government has received an additional 20 billion Japanese yen (approximately PHP8.71 billion) loan from Japan to augment its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.
In a statement, the Japanese Embassy in Manila said the latest budgetary support was disbursed on Tuesday, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), under the Post-Disaster Standby Loan Phase 2 (PDSL 2).
“This third and latest disbursement under the PDSL 2 is intended to further augment the government of the Philippines’ Covid-19 war chest, especially now that the Philippines continues to show signs of recovery following the lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR Plus reimposed on March 29,” it said.
The release came less than a month after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga greenlighted another tranche of the PDSL 2 during a summit teleconference with President Rodrigo Duterte on May 19.
Signed in September 2020, the PDSL 2 is a contingency fund that entitles Manila to withdraw up to 50 billion yen (approx. PHP21.79 billion) worth of loans to help finance its response measures in the aftermath of natural and health-related disasters.
To date, Tokyo has infused a total of 40 billion yen into the country’s coffers, with the first tranche amounting to 10 billion yen disbursed last October.
The second tranche also worth 10 billion yen was released in January 2021 to facilitate the faster recovery of affected regions from Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses.
Aside from the PDSL 2, Japan provided the Philippines a 50 billion yen financing under the Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CRESL) in July last year.
Along with the two loan accords, Japan further expressed its solidarity with the Philippines through a 2 billion yen grant aid to procure medical equipment and establish laboratory surveillance sites, and the recently announced 1 billion yen worth of grant assistance for cold chain development in the country. (PNA)