August 20, 2020
On 14th August, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) made the disbursement to the Philippine Government following its request this week of 50 billion Japanese Yen under the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan to immediately help the Philippines deal with the pandemic.
The Philippines is now in the midst of the fight against the coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) National Transmission Assessment, there is an increasing trend in cases in the Philippines, with higher transmission found in the National Capital Region and Central Visayas.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has also confirmed the health crisis' impact to the economy with latest contraction of 16.5% during the second quarter of 2020, and unemployment of 7.3 million people (April 2020 data). The Department of Finance (DOF) announced that JICA's assistance "underscores the deep friendship between Japan and the Philippines" and the support will form part of the Philippines' economic recovery program.
"JICA stands with the Filipinos in this time of Bayanihan. We admire the tireless effort and the leadership shown by the Philippine Government to tackle the unprecedented challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to explore new and innovative ways to deliver our development cooperation program in response to the Philippines' immediate needs and consistent with our mandate to promote inclusive and sustainable growth and a better quality of life for all," said JICA Philippines Chief Representative AZUKIZAWA Eigo.
The Philippines is the first recipient of JICA's special facility "Emergency Support Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for COVID-19" and is the first partner country to disburse the fund. The trusted partnership between the two countries allowed both Government to respond to the crisis in a "fast and sure" manner.
In addition to COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan, JICA continues to assist the Philippine Government in its effort to boost the economy by providing jobs to many Filipinos through new and ongoing infrastructure projects in support of the Build, Build, Build Program.
JICA, the world's largest bilateral aid organization, is also the Philippines' leading ODA partner. Aside from social development, JICA has also been assisting the Philippines in several other sectors like railways, roads and bridges, maritime safety and security, investment promotion, energy, environment, disaster risk reduction and management, agriculture, and peace and development in Mindanao.