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Business

Philippines secures P12 billion ODA loan from Japan

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has secured the second phase of a P12 billion (Y30 billion) loan from the Japanese government for the upgrade of health facilities in preparation for future crises.

The government has signed with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) the second tranche of the COVID Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CCRESL 2).

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez signed the agreement on behalf of Manila, while JICA’s new president Akihiko Tanaka approved the deal, representing Tokyo.

The CCRESL 2 brings in 30 billion Japanese yen or at least P12.3 billion to the government’s resources that it can use for pandemic response. It carries a concessional term of 0.01 percent in interest rate per annum and a maturity period of 15 years with a grace period of four years.

JICA issued the second phase of the CCRESL 2 in recognition of the Philippine accomplishment in its vaccination program.

According to Our World in Data, the government has vaccinated 60.32 percent of the population as of April 18 as it moves ahead in giving second booster shots to immunocompromised adults.

The Philippines and Japan signed the initial tranche of the CCRESL 2 worth 50 billion yen or over P20 billion for pandemic measures.

With this, Dominguez said JICA provided the largest amount of official development assistance (ODA) to the Philippines, making it one of the Philippines’ biggest growth partners.

“The term of President Duterte’s administration ends in June this year. We have accomplished much in improving our economy’s fiscal position and growth prospects, and we would not have done this without the timely assistance of the people and the government of Japan,” Dominguez said.

Aside from the release of CCRESL 2, Japan donated around 3.09 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines. It also granted financing worth $867 million through CCRESL 1 and the second phase of the Post-Disaster Standby Loan, as well as $25.18 million in aid money for various efforts in managing the pandemic.

Japan accounted for nearly 32 percent of the Philippines’ ODA portfolio, according to the Department of Finance.

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