Japan granted additional 20 billion Japanese yen or approximately P8.71 billion to the Philippines to augment its COVID-19 response. The latest budgetary support under the Post-Disaster Standby Loan Phase 2 (PDSL 2) was disbursed on Tuesday, June 8, through the Japan Cooperation (JICA), according to the statement by the Japanese Embassy in Manila.
“This third and latest disbursement under the PDSL 2 is intended to further augment the government of the Philippines’ Covid-19 war chest, especially now that the Philippines continues to show signs of recovery following the lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR Plus reimposed on March 29,” it said.
The budget was released after less than a month from the time Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga approved another tranche of the PDSL 2 during a summit teleconference with President Rodrigo Duterte on May 19.
The PDSL 2 is a contingency fund signed in September 2020 that allows Manila to withdraw up to 50 billion yen (approx. PHP21.79 billion) in loans to help finance its response measures in the aftermath of natural and health-related disasters.
Tokyo has so far provided a total of 40 billion yen to the Philippines, with the first tranche amounting to 10 billion yen disbursed in October 2020. The second tranche also worth 10 billion yen was released in January 2021 to facilitate the faster recovery of affected regions from Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses.
Aside from the PDSL2, Japan provided the Philippines with a 50 billion yen loan in July last year through the Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CRESL).
Along with the two loan agreements, Japan demonstrated its solidarity with the Philippines by providing a 2 billion yen grant aid to procure medical equipment and establish laboratory surveillance sites, as well as a recently announced 1 billion yen grant aid for cold chain development in the country.