ADB approves record $1.5 billion loan to Philippines for coronavirus fight

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2020 01:42 PM

A health worker talks to a patient outside the San Juan Medical Center at N. Domingo, San Juan City on April 17, 2020. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Asian Development Bank said Friday it approved a $1.5 billion (P76 billion) loan to help the Philippines fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program will focus on helping citizens overcome health, economic and social costs of the disease, the Manila-based lender said in a statement.

"This assistance is our largest budget support loan to the Philippines ever and reflects our strong commitment to providing cornerstone assistance swiftly and effectively to help the country mitigate the pandemic’s devastating impact on Filipinos, particularly the poor and vulnerable, including women,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday extended the lockdown on Metro Manila and other urban areas by 15 days until May 15. He said the Philippines had enough money as of now but borrowings or asset sales would me made if necessary.