• Melo Acuna

Loans and bond offerings raise US$4.55 billion for COVID-19 response

Philippines acquires US$4.55 billion in loans for COVID-19 response

MANILA – The Philippine government has secured a total of US$4.55 billion in newly-contracted foreign loans from multilateral lenders and the commercial markets as of mid-May this year to enhance the different agencies’ programs to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide additional relief to the most vulnerable sectors.

The Department of Finance (DOF), in a release Sunday afternoon said the amount in budgetary support financing for the COVID-19 emergency came from loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank, and the government’s issue of US dollar-denominated global funds last month.

From the total of US$4.55 billion, US$1.7 billion came from the ADB, US$500 million from the World Bank and another US$2.35 billion came from the dual-tranche issuance of the Philippines’ global bonds, which raised coupon rates of 2.45 percent for the 10-year and 2.95 percent for the 25-year, the lowest ever for a Philippine dollar bond in both tenors.

The World Bank also increased its disbursement of the US$200-million additional financing for the ongoing Social Welfare Development and Reform Project I(( to the Philippines, thereby bringing the total amount for budgetary support financing received by the government from foreign loans for the COVD-19 response to US$4.75 billion.

In terms of project loan financing, the Philippines sealed a US$100-million loan with the World Bank last April 28 for the government’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (ERP) that is expected to strengthen the country’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its national systems for public health preparedness.

The DOF received an additional US$8 million in grant financing from the ADB to support two projects implemented by the Department of Health (DOH) and other agencies dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The financing packages for budgetary support, project loan and grants amount to a grant total of US$4.858. billion secured as of May 14 by the DOF for the government’s COVID-19 response efforts. (Melo M. Acuña)

Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (File Photo/Melo M. Acuna)

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