Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd and Akihiko Tanaka, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, sign an agreement for a 30 billion yen loan under the second phase of the Emergency Support Loan Facility for the response to the Covid-19 crisis in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday April 26, 2022. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
THE national government secured a 30 billion yen (approximately 12.3 billion pesos) loan from Japan to help the Philippines recover quickly from the Covid-19 pandemic and fully return to a path of high growth and inclusive, the Department of Finance (DoF) announced on Tuesday.
In a statement, he said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3 and Akihiko Tanaka, the new president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), signed the agreement on behalf of the Philippine and Japanese governments for the second phase. of the response to the Covid-19 crisis. Phase-2 Emergency Support Loan (CCRESL2).
The second phase of CCRESL was signed in recognition of the Philippines’ achievements and plans in vaccinating its target population against Covid-19 and expanding the capacity of the health system to meet the challenges of future health emergencies public, the DoF added.
He said the CCRESL2 package, worth about 12.3 billion pesos or $234.36 million, has a fixed interest rate of 0.01% (one hundredth of a percent) per annum. , a maturity period of 15 years and a grace period of four years. , the same as the original 50 billion yen CRESL.
Dominguez commended the Japanese people and government for their strong and continued support for the Philippines’ development projects and pandemic response efforts, the finance department said.
He said he pointed out that Japan is the largest contributor of official development assistance to the Philippines, with JICA – its foreign aid arm – being an extremely reliable partner in helping the Philippine government implement its main initiatives.
“The mandate of the president [Rodrigo] Duterte’s administration ends in June of this year. We have done a lot to improve the fiscal situation and the growth prospects of our economy. We wouldn’t have done this without the timely help of the people and government of Japan,” the finance chief said ahead of the signing of the agreement held at JICA headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Dominguez said that Shinichi Kitaoka’s support for the Philippines’ development program as the outgoing JICA President has funded more than 1 trillion yen for projects such as the Build, Build, Build infrastructure upgrade program. , which has “significantly improved the logistical backbone of our country; created quality jobs for our people and reduced the costs of doing business. »
“JICA well understands the value of this program for our recovery and competitiveness in the new economy,” he continued.
Apart from loans and grants, Japan’s aid to the Philippines’ pandemic response included the donation of more than 3 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines, the Cabinet official noted.
“The support continues with today’s signing of this 30 billion yen loan agreement to assist the Philippine government’s Covid-19 response measures. As we scale up our climate action plans, we also hope to secure additional funding for natural and health-related disaster response programs,” he added.
Separately, Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa expressed his gratitude for Dominguez’s participation as the Philippine co-chair of the Japan-Philippines High-Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation, according to a separate statement from the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines.
The Minister expressed his intention to strengthen cooperation with the Philippines as strategic partners in achieving a “free and open Indo-Pacific”, based on the recognition that a free and open international order based on the state of law is essential in the face of many challenges, such as unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force.
“The two ministers discussed cooperation in the field of economic security and agreed on strengthening cooperation in response to critical infrastructure security and reliability issues as well as economic coercion,” the embassy added.