Japan disbursed 10-billion yen (around P4.6 billion) to the Philippines, representing the final tranche of the 50-billion yen Post-Disaster Standby Loan package, to support the government’s efforts in providing emergency cash grants to vulnerable sectors in Metro Manila, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Friday.
PDSL-2 is a quick disbursement facility that allows Japanese funding support in multiple tranches for post-disaster response efforts in the event of a national calamity or health emergency.
Dominguez said the disbursement was made in view of the recent declaration of the enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region in August to curb the spread of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.
Under the agreement between the Japanese and Philippine governments for the PDSL-2 signed Sept. 15 last year, the disbursement of the standby loan would be made available through the declaration of a state of calamity or a state of public health emergency by the Duterte administration. In the case of the current COVID-19, the imposition of an ECQ or its equivalent in the NCR or in any other highly urbanized area in the country would trigger the disbursement of the loan.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency disbursed four tranches with the aggregate loan amount of 50 billion to the Philippines. The first tranche amounting to 10 billion yen was disbursed on Oct. 27, 2020 in view of Presidential Proclamation No. 1021 declaring a state of calamity throughout the Philippines until Sept. 12, 2021.
JICA released the second tranche amounting to 10 billion yen on Jan. 5, 2021 following Presidential Proclamation No. 1051 on Nov. 18, 2020, declaring a state of calamity in the entire Luzon. The third tranche amounting to 20 billion yen was released on June 8, 2021 pursuant to IATF resolutions.
The fourth and final tranche amounting to 10 billion yen was made following IATF Resolution No. 130-A which placed NCR under ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20, 2021.
Dominguez requested JICA chief representative Eigo Azukizawa for the release of the final tranche of the PDSL-2 loan to support the government’s implementation of its Social Amelioration Program that aims to provide emergency subsidies to affected low-income households and displaced workers in the NCR, which was placed under ECQ as a preemptive measure against the latest COVID-19 wave.
The 10 billion yen disbursement will also help the government implement “other mechanisms necessary to properly implement COVID-19 response and recovery interventions in the country,” Dominguez said.
The PDSL 2 was extended by Japan in recognition of the Philippines’ plans and accomplishments in reform areas, such as policy and institutional framework for disaster risk reduction and management; financial resilience to natural disasters and climate change; and public health emergency preparedness.