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May 31, 2024

Philippines, Japan ink another COVID-19 crisis response loan worth JPY 30-B

The Philippines and Japan signed an agreement for a 30-billion yen loan in support of the Philippine government’s continuing efforts to rapidly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and fully return its economy to the path of high, inclusive growth.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) president Akihiko Tanaka, signed the agreement for the second phase of the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CCRESL 2) in Tokyo last Monday.

Equivalent to about P12.3 billion or $234.36 million, the CCRESL 2 package carries concessional lending terms of 0.01 percent fixed interest rate per annum with a maturity period of 15 years, inclusive of a four-year grace period.

“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,” Dominguez said.

JICA’s support to the Philippines’ development agenda has translated into more than JPY1 trillion-worth of financing for, among others, President Duterte’s signature infrastructure modernization program “Build, Build, Build,” which has “immensely improved the logistics backbone of our country; created quality jobs for our people; and brought down the costs of doing business.”

“JICA understands well the value of this program for our recovery and competitiveness in the new economy,” Dominguez added.

The secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF) also cited Japan’s 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 first phase of the CCRESL worth JPY 50 billion was signed between the two countries in July last year to assist the Philippine government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and provide economic relief to Filipinos hit the hardest by the pandemic.