NDRRMC: $500-M WB loan on standby for use in Odette-hit areas | Inquirer Business

NDRRMC: $500-M WB loan on standby for use in Odette-hit areas

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 08:38 PM December 20, 2021

REBUILDING Residents of Ubay, Bohol, dig through piles of debris to find anything they can use to rebuild their homes destroyed by Typhoon “Odette,” as it battered the Visayas and Mindanao last week. —LEO UDTOHAN

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Monday said the $500-million quick-disbursing loan extended by the World Bank to the Philippines for post-disaster response is ready upon the declaration of a state of calamity due to the damage wrought by typhoon “Odette” last week.

Citing a message from Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Dominguez said the interagency National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) following its emergency meeting on Monday recommended to declare a state of calamity after “Odette” inflicted hundreds of deaths and damaged billions of pesos worth of properties as well as crops across Visayas and Mindanao. As defense chief, Lorenzana also chairs the NDRRMC.


To recall, the Philippines’ fourth disaster risk management development policy loan with a catastrophe-deferred drawdown option (CAT-DDO 4) approved by the World Bank last month will allow immediate access to emergency funds upon the declaration of a state of calamity or public health emergency.


A similar $500-million CAT-DDO 2 loan which the World Bank approved in 2015 allowed the release of $496.25 million in funds to the Philippine government in 2018 to rehabilitate the areas flattened by typhoon “Ompong” in Luzon back then.

Residents walk past downed electric pylons in Talisay town, Cebu province on December 17, 2021, a day after Super Typhoon Rai pummelled the southern and central regions of the Philippines. (Photo by Alan TANGCAWAN / AFP)

“Funding for rehabilitation after the typhoon is assured from the recently signed $500-million loan from the World Bank. Upon declaration of a state of national calamity, required funds will be immediately drawn,” Dominguez said.

“The World Bank has been put on notice” about the forthcoming request for fund release from the CAT-DDO 4 loan, Dominguez added.

But the government had yet to determine how much will be drawn from the World Bank loan while it awaited agencies involved in response operations to submit to the departments of Budget and Management (DBM) and of Finance (DOF) the funding requirement, Dominguez said.

Ultimately, Dominguez said the Office of the President (OP) will approve the amount to be drawn from the World Bank facility.

Also, Dominguez said the declaration of a state of calamity will give the DOF and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) legal basis to extend tax deadlines — a form of relief to taxpayers whose livelihoods were badly hit by the onslaught of “Odette.”

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TAGS: National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Typhoon Odette

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