THE Japanese embassy in Manila yesterday announced the release of 10 billion yen (about P4.63 billion) from the total 50 billion yen post-disaster loan to help the Philippines support its COVID-19 response.
“JICA disbursed ¥10 billion out of the ¥50-B Post-Disaster Standby Loan (PDSL) to the Philippines after its signing on Sept. 15. This 1st tranche release was triggered by the extension of the state of calamity, allowing the Philippines to draw budgetary support for its Covid-19 pandemic response,” Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda said in a statement.
The PDSL phase 2 was signed last September 15 as a quick-disbursing loan to ensure that contingency funds are available for the Philippines in times of natural disasters and public health crisis.
The first phase of PDSL was provided immediately after the Typhoon Yolanda disaster in 2013.
JICA Chief Representative Azukizawa Eigo underscored that JICA “stands by the Filipinos in this time of Bayanihan to address public health challenges.”
“Among Japan’s partner countries, the Philippines is the first case that JICA is extending PDSL which is applicable to health-related disasters. We recognize that these are extraordinary times and economic uncertainties remain, not just in the Philippines but also all over the world. JICA, as a trusted development partner of the Philippines, therefore stands ready to provide further financial support should it become necessary,” Eigo earlier said.
The embassy, meanwhile, is optimistic the assistance would help spur a faster Philippine recovery in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.