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Philippines secured nearly $5.8B in loans for COVID-19 response – Palace

The Philippines has secured at least $5.758 billion in loans to support government efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the figure was of June 4 as reported by the Department of Finance.

In a separate report, President Rodrigo Duterte told Congress on June 15 that the Philippine government had raised a total of $6.4 billion in budgetary support financing as of June 11.

Of this amount, Duterte said $6.2 billion represented “newly contracted loans” from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as well as the dual-tranche issuance of US dollar-denominated global bonds.

Among the loans contracted by the Philippines included the $750 million from AIIB and at least $1.1 billion from the World Bank (three deals signed in April and June).

On June 15, the Philippines tapped a $500-million loan financing from the ADB as budgetary support for the government’s conditional cash transfer program amid the pandemic.

On June 4, the Philippines and ADB signed an agreement for a $400-million loan for the Support to Capital Market Generated Infrastructure Financing, Subprogram 1 (SCMGIF1) that aims to assist the government’s efforts to strengthen domestic capital markets as the country recovers from the economic fallout triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last April 28, a $200-million loan accord was signed between the Philippines and ADB on the additional financing for the government’s efforts to provide unconditional emergency cash assistance to poor and vulnerable households hit the hardest by the work stoppages following the imposition of strict quarantine measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

The loan accord is the second additional financing provided by the ADB under the Social Protection Support Project (SPSP), which also supports the 4Ps.

On April 23, the ADB and the Philippines signed a loan agreement that would let the Duterte administration access up to $1.5 billion in budgetary support from the bank to augment funds for its COVID-19 response efforts.

The $1.5-billion credit facility for the COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) program is the largest budget support ever extended to the Philippines by the ADB.

DOF Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II said last week that the government aims to borrow at least P400 billion for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. —KBK, GMA News