FOREIGN LOANS, GRANTS TO FIGHT COVID-19 REACH $13.36B
Foreign loans and grants obtained by the Philippines to fight COVID-19 further climbed to $13.36billion (more than P 642billion) as of mid December.
The latest Department of Finance data as of Dec.15 showed that the bulk of $12.72 billion went to budgetary support for programs and activities addressing the health and socioeconomic crises inflicted by the COVID 19 pandemic.
The new additions to the external financing for budgetary support included the two loans from the World Bank signed in November: the $580-million loan for the Philippines Beneficiary FIRST Social Protection Project and the $200 million additional financing for the Social Welfare Development and Reform Project 2.
The acronym “FIRST” stood for “fast, innovative and responsive service transformation”of about four million poor families receiving conditional cash transfers under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
World Bank documents showed that its Washington based board would approve on Dec.16 two more loans—the$600-million Promoting Competitiveness and Enhancing Resilience to Natural Disasters Sub-Program 2 Development Policy Loan and the $300-million additional financing for the National Community Driven Development Program.
Also added to the foreign sourced budget support financing were the $2.75 billion in dollar denominated global bonds issued this month.
The Philippines raised $1.5billion from 25-year bonds at a coupon of 2.65 percent on top of $1.25 billion from 10.5 year IOUs at 1.648 percent during the government’s second foray into the commercial dollar debt market this year.
To date, the Philippines also secured $615 million in project loans for specific COVID-19 response-related projects from the World Bank and the Manila based Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The Philippine government likewise received a total of $26.36 million in grants,which will not be repaid, from ADB and Japan INQ
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