Philippines borrows $4.55 billion for COVID-19 response


Posted at May 31 2020 03:21 PM | Updated as of May 31 2020 03:39 PM

Philippines borrows $4.55 billion for COVID-19 response 1
The Metro Manila skyline seen from Pasig City on April 1, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines has secured some $4.55 billion in foreign loans from different financial institutions for its COVID-19 response as of mid-May, the Department of Finance said Sunday.

Of this figure, $1.7 billion was from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and $500 million was from the World Bank, the DOF said in a statement.

Some $2.35 billion was raised from the dual-tranche issuance of the Philippines’ global bonds, which fetched rates of 2.45 percent for the 10-year and 2.95 percent for the 25-year, both the lowest ever for a Philippine dollar bond.

The bond issuance “demonstrates the resiliency of global investor interest in the Philippine economy despite an environment gripped with pandemic fear," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.

The ADB also committed $8 million in grant financing to support 2 projects by the Department of Health and other agencies dealing with the pandemic, the DOF said.

The World Bank accelerated its distribution of the $200-million additional financing for a social welfare development and reform project, the agency added.

Last month, the Philippines signed a $100-million loan with the World Bank for government’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (ERP), which aims to strengthen the country’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to the threat of the virus.

The loans will enable the country to "a recovery program to gradually jumpstart the economic activities" and "shield the Filipino people against the adverse impact of the pandemic," the DOF said.

Dominguez earlier said the country "honors its financial obligations" and "will not consider a moratorium" on its debts.