DOF: PH borrowed $ 4.55B for COVID-19 response

DOF: PH borrowed $ 4.55B for COVID-19 response

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Philippines has borrowed up to $ 4.55 billion worth of foreign loans to various financial institutions for its COVID-19 response until mid-May, according to the Department of Finance.

Of these, $ 1.7 billion is from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and $ 500 million is from the World Bank, according to a DOF statement.

The $ 2.35 billion comes from the dual-tranche issuance of Philippine global bonds.

The bond issuance “demonstrates the resiliency of global investor interest in the Philippine economy despite an environment gripped with pandemic fear,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

The ADB also pledged $ 8 million in financing to support two projects by the Department of Health and other pandemic agencies, the DOF said.

The agency added that the World Bank has increased the distribution of $ 200-million additional financing for the social welfare development and reform project.

Last month, the Philippines signed a $ 100 million loan with the World Bank for the government’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (ERP) aimed at strengthening the country’s capacity to prevent, identify and respond to the threat of the virus.

The loans will allow the country to develop a “recovery program to gradually jumpstart the economic activities” and “shield the Filipino people against the adverse impact of the pandemic,” according to the DOF.

Dominguez previously said the country recognizes its financial obligations and will “not consider a moratorium” on its debts.

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