The Japanese government approved the disbursement of 20 billion yen (about PHP8.71 billion) under the second phase of the Post-Disaster Standby Loan (PDSL-2) package extended to the Philippines to assist it in its COVID-19 response efforts, especially in providing emergency assistance to vulnerable sectors.

The said loan amount will help meet the Philippine government’s huge financial requirements for distributing emergency cash aid to families affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ (MECQ) that were imposed in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces on March 27 to May 14 of this year, following the surge of infection cases in these areas.

This latest disbursement represents the third tranche of the PDSL-2 loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Philippines last September.

The first and second tranches amounting to 10 billion yen each were released last October 27, 2020 and January 5, 2021, respectively.

PDSL-2 aims to quickly disburse Japanese funding support for post-disaster response efforts in the event of a national calamity or health emergency.

Under this agreement, the disbursement of the standby loan to the Philippines will be made available through the declaration of a state of calamity; or declaration of a state of public health emergency.

The Philippines and Japan signed on September 15 last year the agreement for the 50 -billion yen PDSL-2.

Equivalent to about PHP23.3 billion, the PDSL-2 will be available for quick disbursement in multiple tranches within three years once the loan is declared effective, and may be extended for an additional three-year period up to four times.

The PDSL 2 was extended by Japan in recognition of the Philippines’ plans and accomplishments in reform areas: policy and institutional framework for disaster risk reduction and management; financial resilience to natural disasters and climate change; and public health emergency preparedness.