The World Bank will extend three more loans worth nearly $1 billion to the Philippines by September to help in COVID-19 response and recovery, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Friday (July 24).
In a statement, the DOF said the total concessional financing from the Washington-based multilateral lender since April for response to the pandemic had already reached $1.2 billion.
To date, the following COVID-19-related World Bank loans were already disbursed to the Philippines or injected into the Philippine government budget:
- $500-million emergency COVID-19 response development policy loan
- $500-million third disaster risk management development policy loan
- $200-million additional financing for the second social welfare and development project.
At an online meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and other top officials of the Duterte administration’s economic team last week, Ndiame Diop—the World Bank’s newly appointed country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand—noted that from June 2019 to June 2020, total lending to the Philippines amounted to $1.9 billion.
“Moving forward, the pipeline is really strong with nine projects, many of which are geared towards supporting the government effort to address the crisis as well as helping the recovery,” Diop was quoted by the DOF as saying.
Diop said three more projects in the pipeline worth a total of almost $1 billion were “expected to be approved by September.”
Besides financing COVID-19 response and big-ticket infrastructure projects, Diop said the World Bank was also “strongly committed to supporting [the Philippines] on the reform agenda, the policy side.”
In response, Dominguez thanked Diop, saying that “it has been very challenging for the Philippines and we are very happy that the World Bank has been very responsive to our needs and has provided us with sound advice during this difficult period.”
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