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June 23, 2024

World Bank extends $7.5B loans to Philippines over 6-year period

The World Bank (WB) has provided $7.53 billion to the Philippines via 22 loan agreements signed during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The bulk or $6.15 billion covering 15 loan agreements were used to bankroll the country’s COVID-19 response measures.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the trilateral cooperation among the world’s major multilateral development banks (MDBs) in jointly providing funding support for the Philippine government’s COVID-19 national inoculation program gave this effort the “seal of good housekeeping.

Dominguez thanked the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for entering into a co-financing arrangement for the Philippines’ COVID-19 vaccination program providing the government the budgetary support it needed at a time when revenue collections were down.

Dominguez personally thanked WBG regional vice president for East Asia and the Pacific Manuela Ferro and other key officials for the support of the Duterte administration’s reform agenda and pandemic response efforts.

In a separate meeting with WB vice president and managing director for operations Axel Van Trotsenburg in Washington D.C., Dominguez again expressed the country’s deep appreciation for the assistance extended to the Philippines.

In turn, Trotsenburg thanked Dominguez for his “great leadership and cooperation,” which ensured that the WBG was able to play a useful and effective role in extending its support to the Philippines.

The trilateral collaboration among the three MDBs in supporting the Philippines’ COVID-19 response was an offshoot of a proposal broached by Dominguez in 2017 for multilateral institutions to coordinate with each other in eliminating overlapping functions, reducing costs, and being more effective and responsive in providing official development assistance (ODA) to member-countries.

On the other hand, Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven said that the main institutions for climate finance such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund are not working together with the MDBs, which means lost potentials in reaching more countries that need assistance in funding their climate projects.