Japan Disburses ¥10-B for Philippines’ COVID-19 Response

MANILA – The Japanese government on Friday, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), disbursed 10 billion yen (roughly PHP4.59 billion) to the Philippines, the fourth and final tranche of the Post-Disaster Standby Loan Phase 2 (PDSL 2), which is intended to supplement the country’s response measures in times of catastrophes and health emergencies.

“With the reimposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR), the need to support vulnerable sectors and enhance institutional health capacities also escalated,” the Japan Embassy in Manila said in a statement.

“On this basis, the government of Japan received a disbursement request from the government of the Philippines for the allocation of the remaining portion of the PDSL 2 to the Philippines’ pandemic response and recovery interventions such as the provision of emergency subsidies and strengthening of preventive mechanisms,” it added.

The loan accord for the PDSL 2 was signed between JICA and the Department of Finance (DOF) on Sept. 15, 2020, establishing a contingency fund from which the Philippines could withdraw up to 50 billion yen (around PHP23 billion).

The first tranche of the PDSL 2 worth 10 billion yen was released in October 2020, following the extension of the state of calamity in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two other disbursements under the PDSL 2 were made this year: the 10 billion yen in January 2021 to aid rebuilding efforts after Typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses; and the 20 billion yen in June 2021 to augment the country’s COVID-19 war chest.

“Along with other provisions from Japan during this health crisis, the government of Japan expressed high hopes that the PDSL 2 served its purpose as a quick-disbursing budgetary support that would open the way for the Philippines to fully recover from the impact of the current pandemic,” the Embassy said. - PR