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Philippines, Japan ink P14 billion loan to support COVID-19 response

/ 05:58 PM April 18, 2022
Philippines, Japan ink P14 billion loan to support COVID-19 response

DFA Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and International Economic Relations Lourdes O. Yparraguirre (left) and Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko (right) during the exchange of diplomatic notes on Monday, April 18, 2022, at the Department of Foreign Affairs. (DFA-OPCD Photo by Philip Fernandez)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Japan have formalized a P14-billion loan that will support Manila’s COVID-19 vaccination and economic recovery from the pandemic.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Lourdes Yparraguirre and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko on Monday signed and exchanged notes on COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan Phase-2 (CCRESL Phase-2).

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This augments an earlier loan package from Japan amounting to 50 billion yen in July 2020.

“The latest loan package supports the Philippines’ efforts to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, and build public health and economic resilience against such future emergencies,” the DFA said in a statement.

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The new loan amounts to 30 billion yen (approximately P14 billion) and “seeks to support the Philippine government’s efforts in promoting COVID-19 vaccination and ensuring the steadfast economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era by providing budgetary support,” the Japanese embassy said in a separate statement.

“Under highly concessional terms, the loan’s repayment period is set to 11 years after a grace period of 4 years, with a fixed interest rate of 0.01% per annum,” it added.

According to the embassy, the first phase of the loan was provided to the Philippines in July 2020.

“The Philippine government was the very first recipient of this highly concessional loan specifically designed by the Japanese government to address the global health crisis. CCRESL Phase-2 is the second loan support provided to the Philippines,” it added.

“Japan has continuously provided comprehensive support to the Philippines since the COVID-19 pandemic,” the embassy further said.

On top of “big-ticket yen loan assistance” through the CCRESL and the Post-Disaster Standby Loan, the embassy cited that its support to the Philippines’ fight against the pandemic also includes a donation of over 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, grant aid for the procurement of medical equipment and establishment of laboratory surveillance sites, and technical assistance for cold chain development as well as the provision of Avigan tablets for COVID-19 treatment.

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