The Philippine government secured additional loan financing from the Japanese government to fund its ongoing COVID-19 recovery efforts, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday.
In a statement, the DOF said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Akihiko Tanaka, the new president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), signed a JPY30 billion loan agreement on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Tokyo, Japan.
The loan agreement is under the second phase of JICA’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CCRESL 2).
The first phase of the CCRESL, amounting to JPY50 billion, was signed by the Philippines and Japan in July 2020 to support the government’s COVID-19 response and economic relief efforts.
The DOF said the CCRESL 2 was inked “in recognition of the Philippines’ accomplishments and plans in vaccinating its target population against COVID-19 and expanding the capability of its healthcare system to meet the challenges of possible public health emergencies in the future.”
The latest loan agreement, equivalent to about P12.3 billion or $234.36 million, carries a concessional lending term of 0.01% fixed interest rate per annum with a maturity period of 15 years, inclusive of a four-year grace period –similar with the first JPY50 billion CCRESL, according to the DOF.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III thanked the Japanese government for the continuing strong support for the Philippines’ development programs and pandemic response efforts.
The Finance chief said that Japan remained the Philippines’ biggest provider of official development assistance (ODA).
“The term of President Duterte’s administration ends in June of this year. We have accomplished much in improving our economy’s fiscal position and growth prospects. We would not have done this without the timely assistance of the people and the government of Japan,” said Dominguez.
“JICA understands well the value of this program for our recovery and competitiveness in the new economy.”
The Cabinet official also cited assistance to the Philippines’ pandemic response, which, apart from loans and grants, included the donation of more than three million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
“The support continues with today’s signing of this JPY30-billion loan agreement to aid the Philippine government’s COVID-19 response measures. As we intensify our climate action projects, we hope to also secure additional financing for natural and health-related disaster response programs,” said Dominguez. — DVM, GMA News