June 11, 2021
The Philippines receives this month the 20 billion yen (8.71 billion pesos) as third tranche of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)'s Post Disaster Stand-by Loan Phase 2 (PDSL 2) following the first disbursement of 10 billion yen last October and another 10 billion yen early this year.
The Philippines was recipient of 50 billion yen PDSL 2 of JICA as contingency funds for the Philippines' response to the financial demand of post-disaster recovery in case of natural disasters and public health threats. The latest disbursement forms part of said amount.
Based on a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Report, COVID-19 added pressure to the country's fiscal position, with the country's GDP likely to decline between 2.1% to 6.6%. In Luzon, which accounts for 73% of the country's GDP, quarantine measures on for a month could result in loss of gross value added to 1.5% to 5.3% of the GDP and reduction in employment by as much as 61,000 to 1 million, the report says.
"JICA will continue to support our partner countries like the Philippines in building back better from the COVID-19 crisis. The disbursement hopefully will support social amelioration program for vulnerable people and sectors, and thereby cushioning the economic impact of the pandemic in the Philippines particularly on job losses and support economic recovery efforts," said JICA Philippines Chief Representative AZUKIZAWA Eigo.
PDSL 2 complements JICA's COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan released on August 2020 and its support to the Build Build Build infrastructure agenda of the government.
PDSL 2's earlier disbursement also supported the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation of areas devastated by Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses in 2020.
JICA expressed optimism that the Philippines can rise above the pandemic combined with the ‘bayanihan' efforts of the government, international partners, and private sector.
"While we support the Philippines with financial resources through PDSL, JICA will continue to extend our technical assistance in other areas to sustain economic growth, overcome vulnerability of certain sectors, and support peace building and development in Mindanao," added Azukizawa.
To date, JICA implements more than 70 development cooperation projects in the Philippines in areas such as governance, infrastructure, investment promotion and industrial development, disaster risk reduction and management, agriculture and agribusiness, environment, energy, health and social development, and Mindanao peace and development.