PHL secures new P12-B loan from Japan

The Philippine government began administering the second COVID-19 booster shots nationwide on April 25. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA

THE PHILIPPINES got a new 30 billion yen (about 12.3 billion pesos) loan from Japan, which will be used to fund programs to help the economy recover from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has said the Department of Finance (DoF).

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Tanaka Akihiko on Monday signed in Tokyo, Japan, the agreement for the second phase of the loan support emergency in response to the COVID-19 crisis (CCRESL 2).

In a statement, the DoF said the loan proceeds would support the Philippines’ “plans to vaccinate its target population against COVID-19 and expand the capacity of its health system to meet the challenges of potential health emergencies.” public in the future”.

Loan package has concessional lending terms of 0.01% Ifannual fixed rate, with a repayment period of 15 years and a grace period of four years.

These are the same terms as the first phase of CCRESL, worth 50 billion yen, signed in July 2021.

“JICA fully understands the value of this program to our recovery and competitiveness in the new economy… The support continues with today’s signing of this 30 billion yen loan agreement to help the Philippine government’s response measures to COVID-19, Dominguez said. saying.

During the pandemic, Japan provided the Philippines with over three million COVID-19 vaccines; budget support Ifnancing through the CCRESL and the second phase of the post-disaster relief loan for a total value of 867 million dollars; and a COVID-19 grant worth $25.18 million.

Mr. Dominguez said that JICA remains the largest offifinancial development assistant (FDA) partner, citing 1 trillion yen from Iffunding for the flair transport infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.

“As we scale up our climate action projects, we also hope to secure additional funding for natural and health disaster response programs,” he said.

The Philippines has borrowed 1.31 trillion pesos and received grants worth 2.7 billion pesos for its COVID-19 response from 2020 to January 14, 2022.

“The loans will have to be repaid over a period of 40 years from 2020. This will require a Iffiscal consolidation program and improved revenue collection,” the DoF said in an April 16 economic bulletin.

Dominguez said last week that the Philippines needed to grow “over 6% a year, over the next Iffive or six years” to be able to reduce the debt incurred during the pandemic.

The national public debt reached a record 12.09 trillion pula at the end of February. In 2021, the debt-to-GDP ratio reached a 16-year high of 60.5%, above the 60% threshold considered manageable by multilateral lenders for developing economies. — Tobias Jared Tomas

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