Japan extends 1.1-B yen grant to PH Coast Guard to boost maritime law enforcement

JAPAN has extended a 1.1 billion yen grant or about P432 million to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to improve its maritime law enforcement capabilities and “realize” the Free and Open Indo-Pacific.

Tokyo, through its Official Development Assistance (ODA), also provided a 30-billion yen loan or over P11.8 billion to Manila to help communities affected by recent typhoons.

Japanese Ambassador to Manila Koshikawa Kazuhiko on Tuesday signed the Exchange of Notes (EoN) with Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo to formalize the loan facility and a grant project under Japan’s ODA.

The documents covered Phase 3 of the Post Disaster Stand-by Loan and the PCG Satellite Data Communication System (SDCS), the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

“This 30-billion-yen loan seeks to support swift recovery in the aftermath of natural and health-related disasters, providing a quick-disbursing budgetary support for the Philippines’ calamity response programs,” the embassy said.

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It said that “under highly concessional terms, the loan’s repayment period is set to 30 years after a grace period of 10 years, with a fixed interest rate of 0.01 percent per annum.”

The Japanese government started this budgetary support in 2013, “helping Filipino families recover lost income and rebuild their lives from the devastating effects of Typhoon Yolanda,” the embassy noted.

In 2020, Japan extended anew this financial support to augment government coffers as the Philippines rolled out its recovery efforts from the Covid-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, it added.

Meanwhile, the embassy said once the SDCS is completed, it is expected to improve PCG’s maritime domain awareness and maritime law enforcement capabilities of the PCG, “thereby contributing to the economic and social development of the Philippines, strengthening cooperation in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and its surrounding areas, as well as realizing the Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

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