Japan, Philippines Sign ¥30-B Soft Loan for Disaster Resilience

TOKYO – The governments of Japan and the Philippines have solidified their commitment to disaster resilience by signing the 30-billion yen Post-Disaster Standby Loan (PDSL) Phase 3 agreement on Aug. 28 in the Japanese capital.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Vice President Keiichiro Nakazawa and Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno signed the cooperation on behalf of the two governments. This agreement will allocate funds in the event of emergencies, expediting the process of recovery and reconstruction.

The Philippines, situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire, is susceptible to natural calamities and emergencies. According to global disaster data, an average of 20 typhoons hit the nation each year.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan Masafumi Mori, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko, and his Filipino counterpart Mylene Garcia-Albano, among others.

“JICA continues to support the Philippines in its disaster risk reduction and management efforts, and the PDSL will help boost resilience in times of disasters. We are living in the same disaster-prone countries, and we can support each other as close partners,” JICA Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto said.

“The ties between Japan and the Philippines will remain stronger than brothers, especially in times of need,” he added.

It can be recalled that the Philippines also received 50 billion yen from JICA to help mitigate and manage recovery from disasters, including infectious diseases in 2020 under PDSL Phase 2. The first phase, which granted 50 billion yen, contributed to the recovery and rehabilitation efforts following Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

JICA stated that the recent PDSL will contribute to efforts towards various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as Goal 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure as well as Goal 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Goal 13-Climate Action.

“We stand by the Philippines when disaster happens as seen in our track record in the Typhoon Yolanda recovery, Bohol earthquake, and COVID-19 pandemic to cite a few. We provide not just hard measures including emergency goods, but we also complement it with soft measures such as capacity development. Kasama niyo kami!” Sakamoto further said.

The Philippines stands as the largest beneficiary of JICA programs in Southeast Asia, receiving a total of 418 billion yen in fiscal year 2022. - FJJ

(Photos courtesy of JICA)