South Korea extends P5 billion loan for vaxx program

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — South Korea has extended a loan worth $100 million (P5 billion) to the Philippines to support the implementation, management and monitoring of the government’s vaccination drive.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (KEXIM-EDCF) and the Department of Finance (DOF) signed yesterday the second phase of the Program Loan for COVID Emergency Response Program (PLCERP).

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the government would use the financing to improve the country’s funding capacity in completing the vaccination program.

Last year, South Korea released the first phase of the PLCERP. The loan worth $100 million was deployed by the government to enhance its policies in addressing the public health challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Through KEXIM-EDCF, Seoul awarded the second phase of the PLCERP to Manila for putting up a master plan on the immunization of Filipinos and for speeding up the procurement of vaccine doses. South Korea also recognized efforts, such as profiling of priority groups and awarding of vaccine permits, in providing another loan to the Philippines.

Further, South Korea took note of the logistical, budgetary and emergency measures crafted by the government to make sure that the vaccination program is executed as planned.

For his part, Dominguez said the second phase of the PLCERP was timely as the country needs additional funding to secure its recovery through nationwide immunization.

“This financial assistance from Korea will go a long way in helping the Duterte administration rev up its mass vaccination program against COVID, that is crucial to the strong rebound by our domestic economy come 2022,” Dominguez said.

As one of the country’s development partners, South Korea has committed official development loans worth $1.25 billion to the Philippines as of 2020.

Seoul, through KEXIM-EDCF, plans to expand its financing to Manila up to $3 billion in the next five years.

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