$980M worth of WB loans ready to be used
Three World Bank (WB) loans worth a total of $980 million that the Washington-based multilateral lender approved last month can be used starting next month when they take effect to support development projects in the Philippines.
The Department of Finance’s (DOF) international finance group last week said agreements for the $300-million Philippines seismic resilience and emergency management project, the $280-million second additional financing for the Philippine rural development project, as well as the $400-million financial sector reform development policy loan, were all targeted to be signed between the Philippine government and the World Bank before this month ends.
Upon signing these loans, they were expected to be made effective in August, the DOF said.
Sources said the Department of Budget and Management already issued forward obligational authority to implementing agencies, which certified that funds to cover these projects’ total costs will be made available.
The World Bank greenlit these three loans in June to help in recovery and resilience-building following the pandemic-induced recession.
The first financial sector reform development policy financing to be implemented by the DOF will strengthen financial sector stability, expand financial inclusion and also promote disaster-risk financing.
The World Bank loan to fortify government buildings in Metro Manila and prepare for “The Big One” earthquake will cover the bulk of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ $309.5-million seismic risk reduction and retrofitting program.
The loan extended to the Department of Agriculture will also finance the bulk of the $385.44 million needed to sustain the ongoing rural development project aimed at enhancing the productivity of farms and fisheries.
The World Bank still had 13 forthcoming loans totaling $2.98 billion in its near-term lending pipeline for the Philippines.
As of June, the Philippines through the DOF secured $18.4 billion in foreign borrowings and grants to boost the war chest to fight the crises inflicted by the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. INQ
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